Today while browsing RPG.net I stumbled upon this thread. Obviously Fantasy Flight Games has removed their Warhammer RPG products (both 40K and Fantasy) from DriveThruRPG. It seems FFG didn’t renew their roleplaying game license for these franchises which comes to me as a big surprise.
Some of you might already have noticed that something like that was about to happen, because there haven’t been any releases in quite some time. I didn’t follow these developments as closely, since I – even though I love the setting – wasn’t that interested in the rules. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition used a precursor of the Star Wars RPG, but included a lot more fiddly bits and was ridiculously overpriced. The Warhammer 40K games were much closer to the older editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rules-wise and from what I’ve read they actually sold pretty well.
But these games either didn’t make FFG enough money or they decided to focus more on boardgames in the Warhammer universe or their other franchises. From what I know so far, neither FFG nor Games Workshop have announced anything regarding the future of the Warhammer RPGs, so we don’t know if these games even have a future.
At the time of this writing, the Warhammer RPGs are still available from the official Fantasy Flight Games site, but the PDFs have been removed there as well. It’s still possible that they renewed the license after all, but I actually doubt it. Everything points toward the Warhammer RPGs going out-of-print again. These are sad times for any fan of these game lines.
For a while I have been looking for the “perfect” system, a roleplaying game which better suits my needs and my current preferences. As I quickly found out, this is akin to the hunt for the proverbial white whale. Since I didn’t want to end like Captain Ahab, I took a break from this search and thought hard about what I really needed.
I have taken breaks from GMing several times, but that was not what I wanted right now. So I looked back at games that brought me a lot of enjoyment. And immediately Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition came to mind. It was basically the first roleplaying game I played (that one session of TORG at a con doesn’t count), and it’s a game I have run several times with great success.
Is it the “best thing ever”? No. Does it have quirky mechanics that sometimes don’t make any sense? You betcha! Is it fun? Hell yeah! Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition is as old-school as it gets, especially if you are not looking for a D&Dish experience. For me the world was always the main reason to play the game, closely followed by the awesome carreer system. You know, in WFRP you don’t have classes like in D&D, but your character follows several careers. Each career gives you a set of attributes to improve and skills to learn. After you’ve fulfilled the so-called advance scheme, you can move on to another career as listed in your current career’s career exits. Switching from a career is no easy task, you have to track down the needed equipment, find a trainer, et cetera. Finding a trainer may be a campaign in its own. Also, every game in which ratcatcher is a viable career is a winner in my book!
The Warhammer World is a welcome change from all the high fantasy fare, we’re usually used to. Magic is powerful, but rare. A stranger is more likely to kick your teeth in than greet you with a friendly word. There’s dirt everywhere and let’s not speak about the smells. In WFRP you’re as likely to die in combat as to be killed by a terrible disease. If you’re lucky you end up in an insane asylum. If you know Warhammer Fantasy Battle you’ll notice that there’s a huge difference to the Warhammer World portrayed in the tabletop miniatures games (don’t get me started on Age of Sigmar!). While the world in WFRP 1st Edition is pretty bleak and dark, things are way different in the miniature games. That’s why I prefer the 1st Edition over all the others. In later games the designers tried to come closer to the Warhammer World depicted in the tabletop miniatures games. For an old-school WFRP fan like me, it’s just not what I am looking for.
Last week I sat down with my players to create a bunch of adventurers which we immediately threw into an adventure featuring a band of beastman and a strange ritualistic killing. Tomorrow they’ll continue on their way to Nuln, where further adventures await. And boy, am I excited. So far they seem to like both the rules and the world, and it feels great to run WFRP 1st Edition again. It’s like wearing those old running shoes, you always wanted to replace. They are worn, are definitely not smelling so great, BUT they are just so comfortable you want to wear them all the time. ^_^
The RPG Rule System Preference Survey Results (a non-scientific study)
Twenty days ago I was having a conversation with friends over game complexity. The specifics of the conversation are unimportant, but the arguments were mainly whether people prefer a robust complex system with lots of options despite the complexity, or whether people would rather have a simpler system, even if that means fewer choices in mechanics, but that is easier to pick up and play. I had a feeling that while complex systems have their hardcore fans and familiarity lowers the difficulty to pick up newer versions of games even if they increase in complexity, when given the choice people choose simple over complex. So to get a feeling about the opinions of other role-players out there, I created a survey online and shared it on Facebook and Twitter to find out! Continue reading Survey Says!