Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - 2e vs 4e

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Trippy

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One of the thing's that struck me about the whole character creation process in 4e is how confused it is (and how long it takes). It wants you to roll up a random character and tries to incentivise that, then it asks you to answer questions about your character's childhood home life and decide on their motivation.

What's going on there? Am I playing a comic smelly ratcatcher or is this some kind of deep highly characterised historical epic? My seaman starts with a mop and bucket but no weapons other than a dagger, but I need to come up with a serious personal motivation for them becoming an adventurer? It's like they realise that all the comic elements are important and need to be there, but seem to have completely missed the fact that they are comic.
Character generation can be involved - I felt the same about Runequest: Glorantha to be honest - and not everybody wants to provide detail in character background/motivation, etc. However, I’m not really sure this has anything to do with social status. A rat catcher or sailor could have as interesting backgrounds as a noble, in my view.
 

Trippy

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That was one of the main turn-offs reading 2nd edition for me. It took itself too seriously. But I guess that was true of the wargame by that point as well. Oldhammer was always very tongue in cheek.
I think Games Workshop in the early to mid 1980s, when 1st edition was released, was less informed by marketeers than they were by the the time of 2nd edition. Moreover, even when GW did transform into a global mega company in the late 1980s and 1990s, WFRP was not really part of that and the writers were left to their own devices as an afterthought. I think WFRP 2nd edition was the first real attempt by GW to make a fully commercial product out of the line.
 

TJS

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Character generation can be involved - I felt the same about Runequest: Glorantha to be honest - and not everybody wants to provide detail in character background/motivation, etc. However, I’m not really sure this has anything to do with social status. A rat catcher or sailor could have as interesting backgrounds as a noble, in my view.
Hardly the point I was making now is it?
 

TJS

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Well, what was the point you were making then?
As I said, it's in a comic mode, it's not social realism or historical epic. What was Blackadder's childhood like or his relationship with his parents? Do we care? No. Is it relevant? No.

I'm a ratcatcher. What's my motivation? How about to get through today and perhaps someday not to be a ratcatcher anymore? Isn't that kind of already built into the sytem?

The social class is relevant here, because it tells us something about the kind of British comic mode we're working with here. It's people who are subject to the whims of fate and the world. It's the sane man in a mad world variety of British comedy. If all the PCs were noble, they probably obnoxious delusional twats, and it would be the mad person in a sane world version of British comedy.
 

Trippy

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As I said, it's in a comic mode, it's not social realism or historical epic. What was Blackadder's childhood like or his relationship with his parents? Do we care? No. Is it relevant? No.

I'm a ratcatcher. What's my motivation? How about to get through today and perhaps someday not to be a ratcatcher anymore? Isn't that kind of already built into the sytem?

The social class is relevant here, because it tells us something about the kind of British comic mode we're working with here. It's people who are subject to the whims of fate and the world. It's the sane man in a mad world variety of British comedy. If all the PCs were noble, they probably obnoxious delusional twats, and it would be the mad person in a sane world version of British comedy.
I think fans would be complaining without some sort of consideration of character's backstories, including for characters like rat catchers. The pre-gen characters for 1st edition tended to have solid backgrounds and motivations to adventure. It is also a pretty optional step in 4th edition to add fluff detail, really.

I’m not convinced that WFRP was an out and out comedy game, it is just there were comical elements within the writing. Blackadder could be used as a frame of reference for the game, but it wasn’t attempting to be a Blackadder RPG.
 
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Séadna

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Anything about the Slann? I'll have to look... campaigning in Lustria has been sadly neglected.
No nothing about the Slann. The contents are:

The Dwarf city of Karak Azgaraz
Imperial Dwarves
Halfling Clans of the Reikland and guide to Mootland
Elven Kingdom of Laurelorn Forest

The Mootland and Halfling chapter flesh out Halflings a good bit and though it does nod to them having a clear Hobbit base it adds plenty of details beyond that (e.g. highly polygamous society, politics of clan structure, etc) that makes them quite different in actual play.

In Baulderstone's linked video above Andy Law talks about also ensuring they were visually different to human children in the art. This is one of the art pieces he mentioned:

Halfling.jpg
 

CRKrueger

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No nothing about the Slann. The contents are:

The Dwarf city of Karak Azgaraz
Imperial Dwarves
Halfling Clans of the Reikland and guide to Mootland
Elven Kingdom of Laurelorn Forest

The Mootland and Halfling chapter flesh out Halflings a good bit and though it does nod to them having a clear Hobbit base it adds plenty of details beyond that (e.g. highly polygamous society, politics of clan structure, etc) that makes them quite different in actual play.

In Baulderstone's linked video above Andy Law talks about also ensuring they were visually different to human children in the art. This is one of the art pieces he mentioned:

View attachment 37100
More super-deformed Giant-Headed Halflings. :hmmm:
 

Black Leaf

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That was one of the main turn-offs reading 2nd edition for me. It took itself too seriously. But I guess that was true of the wargame by that point as well. Oldhammer was always very tongue in cheek.
I think that was true of the corebook, but the humour came back in some of the supplements.

Stuff like this is dry but glorious.

renegade crowns said:
A "prince" in the Borderlands is most likely a vicious thug who gains power by violence and murder, maintains it by fear, has no grasp of politics beyond grabbing what he wants and beating up the weak, and has to scrabble for food from month to month.

Princes in the rest of the Old World hardly ever have to scrabble for food.
 

Skywalker

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So is 2e generally considered the best version of WHRP?
Generally yes, from what I have seen. Every edition has its hardcore fans but 2e seems to have the widest appeal and that has stood the test of two subsequent editions. Its run also had the most extensive coverage.

On saying that, I have a fondest for 1e and its setting presentation influences even my 2e games, which is easy to do. But the rules are all over map with a lot of spot rules - some great and some not so, some are simple and some are a convoluted mess.
 

Baulderstone

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Anything about the Slann? I'll have to look... campaigning in Lustria has been sadly neglected.
Andy Law says that he surprisingly got permission from Games Workshop to do some work on Lustria, but he doesn't know what the status of that is now. They weren't allowed to do anything for Cathay, which apparently belongs to the video game people now.

I'm personally glad they have stayed focused on the Reikland for the early part of the 4th edition line. I'd rather have one richly-detailed section of the world than a lot of vague nation splats, but they are at a good place to expand beyond that now. The setting and system have great potential for seafaring adventures that game has never really capitalized on. I remember longing for this kind of thing back in the 1E days.
You are not helping your cause when that "proselytizing" for the new edition comes in the form of advice on how to fix the broken parts of the new edition before you even start to run it!
It's not the opening I'd prefer, but it helps more than not giving advice on how to fix the broken parts of the game. Especially as the main advice is "use this one brief, optional rule that makes the dice easier to read and fixes almost everything broken in the game in one go."
This is true, but for some it was a feature not a bug.
It was a feature for me.
My argument is that a big AP should not be the only, or even most common point of entry for new GM's and players 'to get the game'.
Something I didn't make clear in my last post is that you don't need to play or run TEW to find it useful, especially with the expanded edition. They are easy to breakdown for parts.
One of the thing's that struck me about the whole character creation process in 4e is how confused it is (and how long it takes). It wants you to roll up a random character and tries to incentivise that, then it asks you to answer questions about your character's childhood home life and decide on their motivation.
The character generation could be better organized, but I don't see any problem with having a list of background questions. Part of the fun of rolling up a random character is taking those results and figuring out who that person actually is. In any case, it's an easy thing to take or leave. The book even prefaces them with "One useful technique for creating an interesting background is..." It's just there to spur ideas.

In any case, WFRP characters aren't 1st-level B/X characters or DCC Funnel characters. They are all blessed with Fate Points, so they are going to be around for at least a few sessions. WFRP is also a game that looks to ground players in the setting. While it works just fine to roll up a character and go, it's also a game that is going to reward figuring out things like your character's family and connections.
What's going on there? Am I playing a comic smelly ratcatcher or is this some kind of deep highly characterised historical epic? My seaman starts with a mop and bucket but no weapons other than a dagger, but I need to come up with a serious personal motivation for them becoming an adventurer? It's like they realise that all the comic elements are important and need to be there, but seem to have completely missed the fact that they are comic.
I don't see how having backgrounds is at odds with comedy. Making PCs deal with their families has been a rich source of comedy in a lot of games I've played.

As I said, it's in a comic mode, it's not social realism or historical epic. What was Blackadder's childhood like or his relationship with his parents? Do we care? No. Is it relevant? No.
The first series revolved heavily around his family. Off the top of my head, I remember him having a rich Puritan aunt and uncle in the second series, and his Scottish Cousin MacAdder was in the third. Family is a good source of comedy.

No nothing about the Slann. The contents are:

The Dwarf city of Karak Azgaraz
Imperial Dwarves
Halfling Clans of the Reikland and guide to Mootland
Elven Kingdom of Laurelorn Forest

The Mootland and Halfling chapter flesh out Halflings a good bit and though it does nod to them having a clear Hobbit base it adds plenty of details beyond that (e.g. highly polygamous society, politics of clan structure, etc) that makes them quite different in actual play.

In Baulderstone's linked video above Andy Law talks about also ensuring they were visually different to human children in the art. This is one of the art pieces he mentioned:

View attachment 37100
It's a fun treatment of Halflings.
 

Simlasa

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I'm personally glad they have stayed focused on the Reikland for the early part of the 4th edition line.
Yeah, I wouldn't expect 4e to have approached Lustria yet. When I say 'sadly neglected' I mean across ALL the editions of WFRP. There were a couple of Lustria adventures in White Dwarf, one of those being all-pygmy... but outside of that I'd have to look at fan-made stuff (no slight against that).
Lustria just has that 'lost world' vibe to the point that it would seem like a natural source of adventure content.
Maybe when PCs run afoul of Old World authorities and they need to go be anonymous in some exotic locale...
Though gawd knows I probably don't want whatever current GW favors for the New World... I'd want the old version with Slann, Amazons, Pygmies, dinosaurs and a few coastal settlements of folks from Norsca... so really, I'm just complaining.
 
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Baulderstone

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Yeah, I wouldn't expect 4e to have approached Lustria yet. When I say 'sadly neglected' I mean across ALL the editions of WFRP. There were a couple of Lustria adventures in White Dwarf, one of those being all-pygmy... but outside of that I'd have to look at fan-made stuff (no slight against that).
Lustria just has that 'lost world' vibe to the point that it would seem like a natural source of adventure content.
Maybe when PCs run afoul of Old World authorities and they need to go be anonymous in some exotic locale...
Though gawd knows I probably don't want whatever current GW favors for the New World... I'd want the old version with Slann, Amazons, Pygmies, dinosaurs and a few coastal settlements of folks from Norsca... so really, I'm just complaining.
If I was commissioning a book for Lustria, I'd look to Monster Island for Mythras as a model: A seedy port to act as a home base and large surrounding wilderness to explore. Now I think about it, Monster Island would make a good WFRP supplement.
 

Jaeger

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But it isn’t. There are free scenarios available and a WFRP Starter Set. That is the common point of entree for new GMs and players. It is as good as you get with other fantasy RPGs.

That is only half of my argument.

I was saying that this notion is something that does not serve the best interests of the game line:
...The point being that, for me, what makes WFRP distinct as a fantasy game is the Enemy Within Campaign. ... As such, I don’t think you can really appreciate the game until you dive full heartedly into what they are doing with the campaign books too.

The free scenarios, scenarios for purchase etc,. They should all be able to get players to "really appreciate the game" outside of TEW.

Having TEW being the 'gateway' to 'really appreciate the game' is a silly barrier to put up to new players and GMs to WFRP.


Something I didn't make clear in my last post is that you don't need to play or run TEW to find it useful, especially with the expanded edition. They are easy to breakdown for parts.

But that is hardly something someone new to the game is likely to tackle.
 

Baulderstone

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But that is hardly something someone new to the game is likely to tackle.
I expect most GMs that are new to WFRP have run something else before, and experienced GMs are generally ready to pull things apart.

I'm having trouble with the argument that you are making? TEW, the campaign that really introduced roleplayers to the Old World setting, leading to it being a game still being played today, isn't a good way to sell people on the setting? It was and it is.

Or maybe I am confused about the point that you are making.
 

Simlasa

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If I was commissioning a book for Lustria, I'd look to Monster Island for Mythras as a model: A seedy port to act as a home base and large surrounding wilderness to explore. Now I think about it, Monster Island would make a good WFRP supplement.
Hah! I was actually thinking about Monster Island as I wrote my prior response... meant to name drop it but forgot.
 

Mankcam

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In Baulderstone's linked video above Andy Law talks about also ensuring they were visually different to human children in the art. This is one of the art pieces he mentioned:

View attachment 37100
I've always thought of The Old World's halflings as a bit like politically incorrect midgets from a gritty fable, very eccentric, sometimes working as distrustful circus performers and jesters, and other times easily portrayed as disturbing gnome types. That may be a one-sided view, but it's what I feel they may be perceived by some humans, it just adds to the fable quality of The Old World.

The artwork above kinda goes with that idea, as the sense of unease looking at that Halfling is much more than I get from looking at the shadowy figures in the foreground. He almost looks like that devious and very vicious character from the Leprechaun horror film franchise.

I think it works well not having them too much like Tolkien's Hobbits. Funny and eccentric little folk at best, and mysterious devious types at worst.
More Rumpelstiltskin than Bilbo Baggins, which suits The Old World down to a tee :thumbsup:

(PS: Please excuse any politically-incorrect descriptions here. I was at a loss how to articulate these portrayals without touching on these insentitivies, and certainly mean no disrespect for the real-life small people amongst us)
 
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TristramEvans

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Yeah, I wouldn't expect 4e to have approached Lustria yet. When I say 'sadly neglected' I mean across ALL the editions of WFRP. There were a couple of Lustria adventures in White Dwarf, one of those being all-pygmy... but outside of that I'd have to look at fan-made stuff (no slight against that).

Well, there is this...

pic454623.jpg
 

TJS

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I don't see how having backgrounds is at odds with comedy. Making PCs deal with their families has been a rich source of comedy in a lot of games I've played.


The first series revolved heavily around his family. Off the top of my head, I remember him having a rich Puritan aunt and uncle in the second series, and his Scottish Cousin MacAdder was in the third. Family is a good source of comedy.
Do you think MacAdder was something planned from the very beginning of the character? Or do you think it was something that was thought up when it became relevant and made for a good TV episode?

If there's any game where it seems appropriate to start with the basic bare bones and see what emerges it's Warhammer.
 

Trippy

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Do you think MacAdder was something planned from the very beginning of the character? Or do you think it was something that was thought up when it became relevant and made for a good TV episode?

If there's any game where it seems appropriate to start with the basic bare bones and see what emerges it's Warhammer.
To be honest, I am not understanding your argument at all.

MacAdder was a scripted character that appeared in one or two episodes of Blackadder - largely as a form of antagonist to Blackadder. If he was a scripted character, I guess he was a planned character. He had a backstory - he was Blackadder’s cousin.

And Warhammer has, for the most part, a traditional set of mechanics from the same era as other percentile based games of the time. You generated characters in the same manner you would do in most RPGs. I don’t understand why you think Warhammer characters wouldn’t want a backstory, as in other games.
 

Simlasa

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Well, there is this...
Is that fan thing?
It looks to be the cover art from one of the novels, and based in modern era GW's notion of the place (lizardmen vs. skaven... no amazons or pygmies or frog people or Norsca or science fiction artifacts).
 

TristramEvans

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Is that fan thing?

No, it's real. Published 2005.

It looks to be the cover art from one of the novels, and based in modern era GW's notion of the place (lizardmen vs. skaven... no amazons or pygmies or frog people or Norsca or science fiction artifacts).

It's a sourcebook based on the current fluff circa 6th edition, so yeah, primarily focuses on an expanded look at Lizardman history and society and Clan Pestilens.

No Pygmies, Norsca were invaders in the classic Temple of Rigg Scenario, so of course they aren't detailed therein, but it does talk about the Amazons, and the "frogmen" (Slann) never went away - they've always been an integral part of the Lizardmen army. And yeah, they still have some advanced science fiction artifacts (in fact, during the End Times they were discovered to be in communication with the Eldar via a device and managed to escape the planet before it's destruction).

Really, the pygmies were the main thing excised from Lizardmen lore - for obvious reasons.
 
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The artwork above kinda goes with that idea, as the sense of unease looking at that Halfling is much more than from the shadowy figures in the foreground. It almost looks like the leprechaun character from the Leprechaun horror film franchise.
Look pal I get enough of this trading here in Altdorf :thumbsdown:
And my 104 cousins told me this place was welcoming, pfft. Makes me pissed off enough to skip second breakfast....almost.
 

Mankcam

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Concerned WFRP Halfling Concerned WFRP Halfling Welcome to the Pub ye wee fellow, I initially didn't see you down there!!!

(I don't know which Moderator or Regular your sock-puppet belongs to, but the suspect list is so long and varied that it would put Agatha Christie to shame - This is definately the kind of wacky humour that could only work here in this forum!!! Totally Luv it, heh heh :thumbsup: )

:grin::grin::grin::grin::grin:.
 
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TristramEvans

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25bfce21-cf48-4855-8fe5-cab00b506e3e_text.gif
 

Simlasa

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No Pygmies, Norsca were invaders in the classic Temple of Rigg Scenario, so of course they aren't detailed therein, but it does talk about the Amazons, and the "frogmen" (Slann) never went away - they've always been an integral part of the Lizardmen army.
IIRC Norsca were in the Kremlo the Slann scenario as well. The 'pygmies' were space aliens and did get a WFRP adventure (Hanging Gardens of Bab-Elonn). Are the Slann around as anything more than solitary floating wizards now in the Lizardmen forces?
There was supposedly a Lustria supplement planned long ago by Richard Halliwell, but never came to light.
One bit I'd be curious to see expanded on is the original idea of the lizardmen living in a subterranean world, and the Slann extracting them and the cold ones from there. AFAIK Warhammer doesn't have any sort of 'Underdark' region, unless you count all those Skaven tunnels.
 

TristramEvans

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Even explained as "space aliens" there's no way pygmies would go over well these days

pygmy.jpg

these were pushing the boundaries of good taste back in the '80's. Can't say I'm sad to see them gone.
 

TristramEvans

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Are the Slann around as anything more than solitary floating wizards now in the Lizardmen forces?

They're the ruling class of Lizardmen society, descendants of the Great Old Ones that built the Warp Gates who hid on The Old World to escape the Necrontyr. The only ones encountered on the battlefield are the wizards, though presumably there are some [equivalents of kings] that may not utilize magic. The "lizards" are the peasants/foot soldiers of the society, crocodiles (Krogxxigors) the elite warriors, and dragon-men the temple guards.
 

Simlasa

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Even explained as "space aliens" there's no way pygmies would go over well these days
Yeah, I've got some of those, though painted differently... as well as proxies from current sources (none of them quite so overt). I like them as potential allies of the Slann and another distinctively Lustrian faction... but I wouldn't take them out in public, no.
 

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So, you don't agree that those miniatures are in bad taste?
I haven’t seen them to comment. I was just trying to warn you Radiance had pygmies as a race separate from humans that I can guess were in even more poor taste than the miniatures might be, even beyond the “pygmies aren’t human” bit.
 
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