News for August 2009
New Perils In The Old World 23
An overview of the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay core set and setting
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay | Published 25 August 2009

The great Twin-Tailed Comet, a portent tied to both Sigmar and the Empire, has been seen in the sky. To some, it is a sign of hope. To others, the harbinger of doom. Tensions rise, as the effects of a ruthless winter and poor harvests are felt across the Empire – villages and farms find it harder than ever to scrape by, and supplies for the Empire’s constant war efforts dwindle ever lower.

To many citizens, this can mean only one thing. The End Times are at hand. Fear is rife. Another Great War is coming. Beastmen are growing restless, attacking villages with greater frequency and ferocity. The Chaos cults are rising up, summoning daemons, fomenting rebellion, and instigating insurrection throughout the Empire’s cities. Bands of Chaos marauders scout further and further south than usual – some even penetrating as far as the Reikland to test the Empire’s defences for the coming conflict.

During these times of uncertainty, more fears rise as rumours reach the Reikland from Kislev. Rumours of a champion of Chaos called Surtha Lenk and his great Chaos host waging war against the armies of Kislev. Information seems suspect and unreliable. Some of the news reaching Reiklanders speculates that Wolfenburg was sacked. Conflicting rumours insist Surtha Lenk’s army was defeated, while others hint that the forces of Chaos were but the vanguard of a massive army poised to overrun Kislev and invade the Empire.

In response to these ominous portents, and sensing the fate of the realm is at stake, Emperor Karl Franz works tirelessly to protect the Empire. He sends envoys to the Phoenix King in Ulthuan, asking the high elves for aid in the coming conflict. Calling on ancient oaths and alliances, Karl Franz beseeches the High King of the dwarfs to rally to the Empire’s cause.

Deep in the forests of Athel Loren, Ariel, the queen in the woods, has sensed the impending invasion as well. She sends parties of wood elves through Axe Bite Pass and into the Reikland to protect the ancient cairns secreted deep in the Reikwald Forest, and provide what aid they can against the forces of Chaos.

In the midst of this bleak, brewing turmoil, the adventurers are beacons of hope. Fate has called to them, binding them with the silvery threads of destiny and fortune. Together, valiant humans of the Reikland, wood elves from Athel Loren, high elves from distant Ulthuan, and the dwarfs of Karak Azgaraz face the formidable threats of the Old World.

Can these brave few fulfil their destinies as Fate’s champions in this, the Empire’s time of greatest need?

New edition, New look, New rules
And so begins the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Rulebook, setting the scene for the grim, perilous adventures that lie in wait for the player characters. Some of the player characters will embody the heroic ideal – they know they are heroes, and step bravely forward to face the growing threats because it is the just and right thing to do.

Others, however, have destiny thrust upon them, and are heroes only by virtue of the fact that the story follows their actions, and the game experience revolves around their decisions.

All manner of adventurers find themselves embroiled in the action, plots, and intrigues woven through the Old World – agitators, apprentice wizards, commoners, dilettantes, soldiers, thugs, zealots, and many more.

Over the course of their adventures, the players use a variety of components to resolve scenes and tell their characters’ stories. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay features a variety of full-colour small- and large-sized cards, punchboard tokens, and custom dice to perform actions, track information, and serve other game functions. In addition to these special components, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay boxed core set includes four full-colour game books.

The Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Rulebook
This rulebook has important information that all the players may wish to read and learn. The rulebook showcases the different components, introduces the core mechanics, walks players through character creation, and includes rules for a variety of actions and encounters, including combat, as well as provides a history of the Empire and details on the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

Tome of Adventure: A Guide to Game Mastery & Roleplaying
The Tome of Adventure contains additional rules and information for the player who will be running the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay sessions as the GM. It includes suggestions and guidelines on managing long-term campaigns, handling character development, and creating adventures. The book also contains background and statistics for a variety of enemies to pit the players’ heroes against, as well as a complete introductory adventure.

Tome of Mysteries: A Guide to Wizards & Magic
The Tome of Mysteries provides a history of magic in the Empire, and describes the Colleges of Magic, which oversee the training and application of arcane magic. The book provides additional game rules and mechanics for arcane spellcasters, as well as useful information for players who want to play a wizard character.

Tome of Blessings: A Guide to Priests & Religion
The Tome of Blessings provides a history of religion in the Empire, and describes the major faiths practised in the setting. The book provides additional game rules and mechanics for invoking divine blessings, as well as useful information for players who want to play a priest or religious character.

Set in the grim world of Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy universe, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a roleplaying game that sets unlikely heroes on the road to perilous adventure. Players will venture into the dark corners of the Empire, guided by luck and Fate, and challenge the threats that others cannot or will not face.

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Comments (23)

HAMMERBLADE
Published: 8/30/2009 7:06:24 AM
#23

 I agree with Carthage

BTJ
Published: 8/26/2009 4:56:06 PM
#22

 I think I might just end up getting it-I never played 2nd ed, unfortunately, but the starter set for this does seem like a great deal-4 books for what will probably end up costing about €70-80? Only issue is how much do the cards impose on a game? If they're just like reference sheets then I'll probably buy it, but if they aren't then I think I'll pass on this until some reviews come out. I do like the idea of the box though

Carthage
Published: 8/26/2009 5:55:33 AM
#21

Phobiandarkmoon said:

"Oookay, so you're saying that resetting it to just BEFORE the Storm of Chaos is less straitjacketed? When we already know how the SoC turns out?"

I see your point - I'd prefer a rollback to the 1st edition setting! - I was just thinking that in play you could hold back the SoC almost indefinitely, whereas in 2nd edition you're more tied down to playing in the aftermath. Of course you can change anything, but that's the baseline. 

Anyhow, I'm more excited by the accessories. As I posted earlier, it's nice to see some experimentation with RPGs nowadays.    

Mordante
Published: 8/26/2009 4:25:00 AM
#20

Well its refreshing to see that a game contribution to gamming history amongst other things was the removlal of bland faceless  character classes which served no other function than to dictate what you hit a monster with is devolving back into this.

anyone have a feeling that they had a souless fantasy game/mechanic lurking around and just plonked WFRP on it?

phobiandarkmoon
Published: 8/26/2009 1:45:12 AM
#19

Carthage said:

"I cut my GM teeth on Enemy Within. Whilst I loved 2nd Edition for its many mechanical improvements, I'm pleased to see the timeline for 3rd Edition shift back to before the wake of the Storm of Chaos and return to what seems to be a less straightjacketed setting."

Oookay, so you're saying that resetting it to just BEFORE the Storm of Chaos is less straitjacketed? When we already know how the SoC turns out?

Either putting it back to 1st edition (no wars in the offing necessarily, in a quiet period where corruption looms) or way past the SoC, when we've resolved back to a relatively safe Empire wpuld satisfy that condition. Besides, I never felt limited under the timeline of 2nd Edition. There was nothing stopping you setting it at a different time if you wanted to except for updating the fluff to match the cities of that time  - which could be whatever you wanted anyway

egalor
Published: 8/26/2009 1:21:54 AM
#18

Nothing new whatsoever.

Militarywizard
Published: 8/25/2009 7:56:45 PM
#17

I quit playing rpg back when wizards came out with 3rd ed. but i always love reading my wfrp book. After watching this video im now going to get back into rpg and this is going to be the game I get my family started in. They took to Tailisman like fish to water ages(33wife/9s/7d/5d-who rolls the die for me). Tailisman was the game I was setting them up for future rpg playing. WFRP 3rd looks just right for them. Not too hard, not too easy. I look forward to giving this game a try.

Carthage
Published: 8/25/2009 6:58:58 PM
#16

I cut my GM teeth on Enemy Within. Whilst I loved 2nd Edition for its many mechanical improvements, I'm pleased to see the timeline for 3rd Edition shift back to before the wake of the Storm of Chaos and return to what seems to be a less straightjacketed setting.

I'm also nerdishly excited to see the return of a boxset RPG, with a treasure-chest of books, dice and counters inside. I also love innovation. Having watched the presentation vids I'm really excited about some of the story-geared mechanics on offer here. It's great that FF are spearheading something new for the hobby, and I'm really looking forward to playing it. The company gets my respect.

As an aside, I just don't understand the edition wars raging over this (and indeed across the RPG hobby in general).  It's a new game. The hatred being shown here for a bit of innovation - or at least just trying something different* - is really embarrassing!

*Tzeentch would be proud by the chaos that's been wrought. ;)     

Carthage
Published: 8/25/2009 6:58:30 PM
#15

I cut my GM teeth on Enemy Within. Whilst I loved 2nd Edition for its many mechanical improvements, I'm pleased to see the timeline for 3rd Edition shift back to before the wake of the Storm of Chaos and return to what seems to be a less straightjacketed setting.

I'm also nerdishly excited to see the return of a boxset RPG, with a treasure-chest of books, dice and counters inside. I also love innovation. Having watched the presentation vids I'm really excited about some of the story-geared mechanics on offer here. It's great that FF are spearheading something new for the hobby, and I'm really looking forward to playing it. The company gets my respect.

As an aside, I just don't understand the edition wars raging over this (and indeed across the RPG hobby in general).  It's a new game. The hatred being shown here for a bit of innovation - or at least just trying something different* - is really embarrassing!

*Tzeentch would be proud by the chaos that's been wrought. ;)     

lightofhand
Published: 8/25/2009 6:15:19 PM
#14

i just want to say i feel there was still alot that could have been done with warhammer role-play 2ed i have every book for it and the frist editions i even have the frist realam of chaos books I have put alot of money in to it so to hear you changing the rule again after only 4 years (2ed i'm talking about)of it being out tells me this company is only after the money. i have wrote some of my own bit for 2ed warhammer place and mosters as i have been playing warhammer battle and role-play from 1988. i think i would give 3 ed i miss and save my money and play a game that me and my gruop really enjoy play out of the 15 of us no wants to buy this because we all feel let down.

Jaysin1414
Published: 8/25/2009 5:45:11 PM
#13

I've never played Warhammer Fantasy 1e or 2e.  I saw a link to the video over on RPGNet and decided to give it a look since I'm looking for something (read: anything) other than D&D 4e to get my fantasy RPG fix.  I've bought the Pathfinder PDF, I have the Trailblazer PDF, and I'm debating getting Fantasy Craft when released in hardback. 

That being said, what I saw in the Gencon Demo was literally amazing and refreshing.  Everything the spokesperson said spoke of a story-telling game that uses innovative mechanics to *assist* the Narrator with storytelling a campaign.  Everything he said leads me to believe that Warhammer 3e isn't a clone of D&D 4e, it's the polar opposite. 

D&D has gotten to be too rigid, needlessly complex and somewhere along the line it lost it's fun-factor (for me, your mileage may vary).  Counter to that, FF has designed 3e Warhammer to be easy and fun and provides the tools (in the box - not by subion) to make the job of the Storyteller faster and more rewarding.

I can feel for the old-time Warhammer fans that see this as something different and a huge change from what they're used to...but as a new member to the fold, I see it as a great jumping on point and as a great concept with which to bring a couple of non-RPG friends into the hobby.

I hope that the old-timers can grow to love it - and I hope they can see it as a great opportunity to bring new blood to the game and to the Warhammer universe. 

 

 

nonstoptabletop
Published: 8/25/2009 5:29:22 PM
#12

I'm pleased that the tone of the flavor text with this post is in keeping with the "ideal" of WFRP. While I have been intrigued and excited by the third edition announcement, I do think it is fair to say that the bombastic tone of the original announcement incited much of the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the existing fan base. I find it interesting (and commendable) that an effort has been made here and in the videos to describe how the "heroic" label and color used in the initial announcement is applicable to adventure in the grim and perilous Old World.

In keeping the flavor of the beloved ideal of the Old World setting — in fact, instituting the bleak, foreboding early Storm of Chaos back— FFG has answered the charge that the game was being shifted to some D&D or Descent-like high fantasy ideal. In keeping the gist of the career system and the brutal critical hit system, they retain, I think, the only other key components that separate WFRP from the rest of the RPG pack.

I do not understand the love affair with the "game engine" of first or second edition WFRP outside of those aforementioned characteristics.  I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what FFG can do in bringing in some innovative ideas to the resolution system and offer improved catalysts within that system for narrative detail. I cannot understand individuals who insist that the use of proprietary components make this more of a board game than an RPG. I've played many different games, with wildly different systems, that did a wonderful job of matching the "feel" of the game engine to the "feel" of the theme and setting — from Feng Shui's shticks and shot-cost system to Trail of Cthulhu's investigation-based interface. I'm not sure anything about WFRP's long-standing use of percentile dice and stat blocks extrapolated from the tabletop game did anything particularly fascinating in regard to accentuating the setting and theme. If the designers have identified mechanics from other games that serve this kind of storytelling well, who cares about their genesis? Of course, I never held anything against how Deadlands incorporated poker chips and playing cards. Your mileage may vary.

Based on my experience with FFG's other products (such as how Doom captured the feel of a FPS on the tabletop and BSG captured the feel of internecine paranoia from that property), I think there is reason to be optimistic.

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