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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    So...ive gotten my hands on a second edition warhammer book and I really have fell in love with all of it. I played d&d for a long time and was not satisfied with the superhero like pcs you get. Warhammer intrigues me because death and or horrendous injuries seem quite common and the dark fantasy is awesome. I also like the percentage dice system they do and the rennisance era tech. It really brings joy to me. So i just wanted to see who has played it and what experiences it has? I will both be playing and dming (at different times of course) so I'd like any advice for both.
    Thanks.

    Ps. I know I said I want it to be gritty and death be common but not too common so if there are issues with any of those rules please let me know. I dont wanna upset my players.

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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dankus Memakus View Post
    So...ive gotten my hands on a second edition warhammer book and I really have fell in love with all of it. I played d&d for a long time and was not satisfied with the superhero like pcs you get. Warhammer intrigues me because death and or horrendous injuries seem quite common and the dark fantasy is awesome. I also like the percentage dice system they do and the rennisance era tech. It really brings joy to me. So i just wanted to see who has played it and what experiences it has? I will both be playing and dming (at different times of course) so I'd like any advice for both.
    Thanks.

    Ps. I know I said I want it to be gritty and death be common but not too common so if there are issues with any of those rules please let me know. I dont wanna upset my players.
    1. Three 33% chances of success are not a 99% chance of success, it's about 70%.
    2. Don't drop lots of unannounced flanking and rear attacks on the people who rolled ~10% on WS and 45% on BS. At least not more than every other hostile encounter.
    3. Remember to reward people who take risks and succeed.
    4. Remember that the people who rolled ~50% on WS at the beginning and ended up with 85+% WS, plus automatic parries and dodges, heavy armor, 5+ toughness, and have rune weapons are not at risk in basic melee combat.
    5. Don't make your 'epic end boss' something immune to missile attacks and non-magic weapons with 10+ attacks a round and ambushing the party from behind. At least not if a decent chunk of the party has no meaningful melee skills and are out of fate points.
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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    The important thing to remember is that Ulric's Fury - that is, adding another dice when you roll a '10' for damage - only applies to Players and not to NPC's. This is written explicitly in the book, and for very good reason, but one of my own key failings is to forget that when combat is running and things are getting excitable. While damage can accumulate over time, remembering this will significantly decrease the number of opportunities to One Shot a given player.

    Pay close attention to the difference between Fate Points and Fortune Points, and be generous when allowing your players to recuperate the latter. The game is much more fun and flows a lot better when people are allowed to succeed at things, and it's also a lot more fun when you encourage your players to be brave and do heroic things, despite the danger.

    Magic in Warhammer is..... odd. It's fairly hard to access and actually being any good at it takes a lot of hard work, but powerful mages are POWERFUL.
    That being said, I wouldn't say that it's a "high magic" setting, because magic is also dangerous, pervasive and corruptive; you should find traces of it everywhere, and that's because Bad Things are happening to those caught up in it. If you know this ahead of time, you should embrace it. As with Call of Cthulhu and similar games; while you can conjure a fireball and blow someone into ashes, it's a lot more fun to dole out Insanity and Corruption points over time, because that way you can do lasting damage to your PCs that is fun and memorable for both GM and Players, rather than just killing them off in one go.

    Randomly generating classes is a lot of fun and leads to interesting situations that you wouldn't normally expect. That being said, if someone is lucky enough to be a Rat Catcher, please don't kill off their dog unless you really have to; it's tempting to have an Orc step on the party mascot at the first opportunity, but remember that little dog is the most important and definitive part of that Character's class, and it's a big set back both morally and financially if the GM periodically goes "no, you can't be your class any more". Same goes for Wizards' spellbooks - screw with peoples' equipment if you like, but try not to invalidate a character in doing so!

    [EDIT] That being said, as mentioned below, the classes can be VERY unbalanced. In a party comprising of a Dwarven Shieldbearer, an Elven Kithguard and a Pit Fighter, the person who rolls up a tavern wench is probably going to be in for a rough time. Let people roll for two classes and then pick the one that best suits the party, because "You're a Beggar, deal with it" is only fun if the other players aren't Gods of War.

    [EDIT] In a similar vein, Dodge is the God Skill. As soon as players reach the point where they can take that as a skill, the game changes significantly and combat becomes noticeably less threatening. Conversely, give it to an enemy and have them fight a low-level party, and suddenly things get scary. Be very wary if it appearing in your game on either side of the screen!

    If you're ever in a party that is passing through Middenheim, feel free to drop by the Temple of Sigmar and say 'hello' to Sveinn. He's the big northerner in bear-skin boots, and he's a lot more friendly than he looks. Just don't get him started on the subject of Giants. Or Marienburgers.

    And if you ever find yourself in Altdorf, you'll stay out of the sewers if you know what's good for you.
    Last edited by Wraith; 2017-12-08 at 02:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Be aware that the races are not balanced - Elves get higher base stats, followed by dwarves, then humans, with halflings (unsurprisingly) with the lowest base stats overall, especially in combat related skills. As careers are also unbalanced in terms of combat capability, you can get a group with a very wide range of combat skill, especially with random career choices. Be aware of this when creating encounters, and don't overdo the amount of combat.

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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    1. Three 33% chances of success are not a 99% chance of success, it's about 70%.
    Don't want to be pedantic but it's slightly under a 55% chance. This is how casinos stay in business and how characters die.

    EDIT: I had a typo in my math and the 70% was right. Goes to show that you should always double check after calculating to make sure you didn't hit the next number over by accident.

    But yeah, it's definitely one of those systems where the imbalance is one of the features and it's important to recognize and calibrate for that. I'd say don't even get started on planning (aside from very rough outlines) until you know what sort of party you are looking at.
    Last edited by Tinkerer; 2017-12-08 at 01:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    Don't want to be pedantic but it's slightly under a 55% chance. This is how casinos stay in business and how characters die.

    But yeah, it's definitely one of those systems where the imbalance is one of the features and it's important to recognize and calibrate for that. I'd say don't even get started on planning (aside from very rough outlines) until you know what sort of party you are looking at.
    Thanks. I blame late night math.
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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    Don't want to be pedantic but it's slightly under a 55% chance.
    Is it? Three rolls, each with a 33% chance to succeed - getting at least 1 success is like having three rolls at 67% and having each fail. So, 1 - (0.67^3), which is very slightly less than 70%.

    Math pedantry aside, I have firsthand experience only with the first edition of WFRP, which is an old system and it shows. Extreme imbalance between races and careers was mentioned already, same for the ability to really min-max a character with the ability to tank or dodge everything thrown their way - if your rolls during character creation were good at least.

    When played as intended though, combat is a swingy and messy affair. It really should be any given party's last possible resort, because even a minor skirmish can result in serious, difficult to heal injuries. Assuming you have to fight, ranged weaponry or going all out with a high-initiative character with many attacks are the preferred methods. It's kinda like playing level 1 AD&D, only instead of eventually reaching higher levels, characters become unhittable powerhouses.
    Last edited by tensai_oni; 2017-12-08 at 01:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    I've played both 1e and 2e WFRP. 2e is a definite bug-fix for 1e. 1e was notorious for "naked dwarf" syndrome. 1e also had halflings written up as comic relief rather than a serious playable race.

    2e is more balanced, but still, you should let players roll for class 2-3 times and let them choose what they prefer when they all know all their options.

    The various 2e splatbooks add more options, but I wouldn't call them power-ups

    Combat is deadly, but it rewards good tactical planning. Stacking the odds shamelessly in your favour is required. In the context of Warhammer, this means taking advantage of terrain, social manoeuvring to take some enemies out of the fight before its begun, and misdirecting them to be elsewhere. (Quite unlike D&D, where it means Christmas tree magic items and action economy.) If the town guard has six crossbows aimed at you, you stand down in Warhammer; in D&D, you take your hits then Great Cleave them in one round. It's still fun, but requires a very different kind of tactical thinking.

    Warhammer magic is funky. Try not to get too emotionally attached to your wizards.

    Healing is hard to come by, except from the priests of Shallya (who, due to their vow of non-violence, aren't really PC material for most campaigns). Expect downtime. That said, the 2e non-magical healing salves were kinda overpowered.

    Short of a rich patron or a heist, you're not likely to ever have metal armour or gunpowder weapons, due to their extreme cost. They exist, but mostly as things to drool over.

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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Short of a rich patron or a heist, you're not likely to ever have metal armour or gunpowder weapons, due to their extreme cost. They exist, but mostly as things to drool over.
    Guns are on a starting list for a couple of beginner's career choices.

    Personally, I think it's not bad to reward your PCs with armor (guns aren't that superpowered), so long as you pinpoint the fact that those things are expensive status symbols and will cause you to be targeted more by bandits and you will be required to carry more weight. I had one adventure where we met a wandering knight from Bretonnia who was meant to be a questgiver, but they decided to ambush and overpower him for his goodies. People almost died, knight got a lot of damage in, then the knight got Ulric'd for 23 HP, and the knight... decided he took too much damage and just ran away. When asked, GM said that he couldn't let us have his armor because that's not what WFRP is about.

    Getting some armor and what not means that your characters can actually enjoy playing as Gotrek and not as Hans Scheissepanzer, the mud peddler who could die from botched acupuncture. If you get access to plate, go raid Zhufbar or something. That doesn't mean the players shouldn't work hard for the end-game stuff, but there's nothing wrong with WFRP2 as a chassis for combat heavy games, especially with the epic threats that the universe is rife with. If your players finish their first career and end up more combat competent than their former Tavern Wench selves, give them some castle to clear out of undead or some magician gone insane to kill.

    I am particularly allergic to WFRP as a setting where everyone is living and dwelling in crap and there's no hope for anything and the GM is insistent on making sure everyone is a jackass (nobles who refuse to pay the reward or dropping Warpstone everywhere as a random loot reward on ignorant PCs just to have giggles over later). Heroics can be told about a hobbit throwing a ring to a fire, so let your PCs deal with some pretty serious threats - even if it has to be by guile (because WFRP is deadly) rather than rolling a ton of d6s for fireball damage.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2017-12-14 at 07:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Re-reading the 2e core book, seems there are a decent scattering of careers with mail shirts or blunderbusses (and at least one with both).

    I'm not saying that metal armour and gunpowder should be withheld entirely. But getting mail armour in WFRP is like getting your first decent magic armour in D&D.

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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    I'm not saying that metal armour and gunpowder should be withheld entirely. But getting mail armour in WFRP is like getting your first decent magic armour in D&D.
    Oh yeah, that's the perfect way to put it.
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    Default Re: Warhammer fantasy, who has played It? Help please.

    I've run a few WFRP games on this board (including one currently ongoing - The Bloody Crown, linked in my signature). It's a great game, you're in for some fun! Just don't get precious about your PCs - to really get the most out of the game I think you have to treat them like Blood Bowl players and see a permanent maiming as an opportunity for character development rather than Game Over.

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