Tuesday, May 05, 2009

makes me want to try WFRP

Warhammer FRP isn't like D&D, and the monsters don't automatically carry gold and magic items. D&D is about quests for glory and riches; WFRP pretends to be the same, but in fact is about the PCs' day-to-day fight for survival in a universe that hates them. If you don't finish each adventure worse off than when you started it, your GM is doing something wrong. If you find yourself in a WFRP adventure and not knee-deep in shit then duck, because another load is past due.
--James Wallis in "Yes I Sank Your Barge", his reply to "How James Wallis Ruined My Character's Life"


  1. Damn straight! And most likely why, depite enjoying the occasional foray in the Olde Worlde, we always gravitate back to some version of D&D...now where's my treasure dammit!!!

  2. Bah! If you want gritty play GURPS. ;)

  3. errr... sounds like how I do D&D.

  4. WFRP: the greatest black comedy RPG ever written. It's what happens when D&D watches a back-to-back "Blackadder" marathon while flicking through a Heironymous Bosch art book and listening to Iron Maiden.

    Not for nothing was the tagline of the setting "the laughter of dark gods."

    related: noisms did a good post on WFRP as part of the modern British tradition of dark fantasy, of which GW has been a major flagbearer for the last ~30 years.

  5. WHFRP was the first RPG we played (well, technically, our version of it before we understood the rules). Our gateway into the system was HeroQuest and Advanced HeroQuest.

    I am going to be a little bit controversial and say that I do not particularly agree with the above quote, nor with Noism's essay on pessimism.

    WHFRP can certainly be more brutal than D&D, and has a hopeless cthulu style vibe to it, but our teenage playstyle using WHFRP was very little different to our later experience playing D&D.

    Definitely play WHFRP, though, Jeff. It is a good system, and a great setting.

  6. plus the wfrp rulebook still shows harpy boobies ;)

  7. I ran WFRP last year, and despite the "grim and perilous" setting, our group was often howling with laughter. It really is a great game and I highly recommend it. I can't recommend one edition over the other, as both have things I like and dislike... but the 2nd edition book is probably easier to get hold of and has very good art work. The only thing that is majorly different between the two is the magic system.

  8. @mhensley - you can buy the Otherworld Mini harpies and paint the bewbies. Saggy, nasty, harpy bewbies.

  9. It's true that it ain't Warhamer if the PCs aren't worse off at the end of the adventure, but it also ain't Warhammer if the players aren't laughing.

    It's one of my favorite games ever, and like JimLotP above, it's been a heavy influence on how I run my D&D game. So much so that somewhere in my homebrew world Gammafrost the corpse from 'Mistaken Identity' (the opening scene of The Enemy Within campaign) is just lying in the road in a perpetual state of recent-deadness, waiting to royally screw with the PCs.

  10. brings to mind Tunnels & Trolls where it was taken for granted that the GM would do his best to kill off pesky delvers...and that Critical Miss article reads like it's describing a typical T&T campaign...zoot allors! we all play T&T and do not know it!

  11. My friend is just starting our group on the "Enemy Within" campaign. All the PCs haven't even been introduced yet and I already feel that I'm on the stagecoach ride to Chaos, or the film set of Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky...

  12. From our current play-by-post WFRP game:

    (GM posts) NPC at village gate: "Who in Sigmar's name are you?"

    PC1 posts:

    "Weary travellers come from Auerbach seeking warm lodgings and a cold draught."

    PC2 posts:

    "Bandit killers who need recoup!"

    PC3 posts:

    "That about covers it!"

    PC4 posts:

    Says nothing but cracks neck ominously and looks askance at PC3.

  13. I've always enjoyed WFRP as being basically Call of Cthulhu, but even funnier.

    The original Games Workshop corebook is, IMO, the single greatest book ever published for fantasy gaming.

    And the new edition didn't fuck it up, so bravo.

  14. Fantastic Setting. Great game. The rules are definitely starting to show their age quite a bit, and they weren't perfect to begin with IMO. I've heard good things about the newer edition - it's worth picking up either just for the setting material alone.

  15. Anonymous11:16 PM


  16. Yeah, I have to agree, WFRP has a reputation as being grim and gritty, even horrific, but I find it to be one of the funniest games out there. Blackadder is apt, I think, as the game draws from a long line of British dark comedy. After all, if you're knee-deep in mud and horse poop, getting attacked by cultists because you look a bit like the sacrifice they lost, and you're developing the pox, what else can you do but laugh?

    Great game.

  17. Anonymous5:11 PM

    I always see Warhammer RPGing as Tolkien in a blender with Moorcock and Lovecraft. Not terribly original, but very grim and uncompromising.

    I also have the distinction of having permission from one of the creators of Kaleb Daark to use Malal as an alias as long as it isn't for profit. That is my nickname on the FFG forums and was on the old Black Library messageboard.