Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And then there was WFRP 3.0

So, back in college I ran the most memorable campaign ever. It was using the Warhammer Fantasy Role Play rules (WHFRP 1.0) because everyone knew DnD like the back of their hand. Using WHFRP let me create a whole new world, with all new monsters, and even better the players had no idea how hard it was to kill an Orc, so player tension was always nice and high. It was a grand adventure because it was so new.

And after that, I tried playing fantasy role playing games, and don't know if it was because I was older or not, but playing role playing became "Yeah, yeah, I go down the corridor, check for traps, open the door, look up, burn the blob with my torch, open the blob for the gem, blah blah blah. Ie. It became boring. My imagination seemed to be gone.

I have had some successes, I played in a very fun email DnD 3.5 campaign and my Dark Heresy "Dungeon" was also a huge success.

Needless to say, I had high hopes for my WHFRP 3.0 session. I still think the game mechanics are very cool, but I don't know...the session was just not as fun as I thought it would be.

I mean I thought the precanned adventure was the best I had ever seen. So, why was the playing session meh? Well I think several reasons.

One, it was not my own creation, so that can tend to make the adventure a little blander. Also, my player characters were not really role playing they were more "boardgame" playing a role playing game. You know, there was no "I smite the demon with my Sigmarite Hammer" kind of stuff. And, the player characters were pre-made which always leads towards a non-caring attitude about one's character.

So, all in all, I liked the rule set very much and the players admitted to having fun. So, I am going to try again and make my own adventure and have the PC's make their own characters. I think that will give us all the ownership I feel might infuse the game with some vigour. Or I am just old and my imagination is worn out.



  1. Hi Reaf, This is Kevin Smith - Kevin Smith from the D6 Generation Donations not the one who got kicked off the plane!

    I wrote a little about WFRP on my Blog and if you will forgive the copy and paste here is the bit I wrote, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on your experience.

    "I completed a rules summery of Warhammer Fantasy Role-play to aid my understanding of the game but although it did that, it may have somewhat killed the game. I think all the players believed that it was a simple system and when it comes down to it, it isn’t. Creating a dice pool once you have a few talents out, a party talent in play, skills, specializations, effects of sustained Critical hits, sustained spell modifiers, creatures armor defense and fortune dice options, is complex. During play I made one combat dice roll where the dice pool contained no less than nine modifiers and then realized I should have added another as I was fatigued. On top of this you have to track Fatigue, Stress, Favor (if you are a priest) and at one point I had 5 action cards in front of me all with diminishing tokens on them tracking the rounds before they could be used again. The possibility of making a mistake is huge and by the time I had figured out what the modifiers were I had almost forgotten who I was hitting and why. The players did not come to a definitive conclusion last night but I think we may well see out the adventure and call it a day."

  2. You know Kevin, I have a sneaking suspicion that I agree with you on this. I agree 100% on the dice pool mechanic. One would think it is very simply, you so aptly put it can be way more than this. I am going to try a small campaign and see what happens. Thanks for your details though, I will mostly likely use them in the review. HD