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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    I've read the Corebook for the latest edition of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, but I still feel like I'm not ready to play a live-fire session of the game because my primary experience is with d20-based games like D&D, Pathfinder and Starfinder, fairly forgiving games while WHFRP's reputation as a darkly comedic meat-grinder where your PC's horrible death is not a question of "if" but "when" precedes it.

    So...when it comes to making a character who can survive as long as possible, how do I go about doing that? What are the best talents and skills to take, and what are traps best avoided? How do you build a functional party, since the game doesn't build your role in the party directly into a class the way d20-style games do? What tips and tricks have you more experienced players learned that you might impart to a scared n00b like me?

    Thank you in advance for your kind attention and advice.
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2020-12-23 at 10:07 AM.

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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    While I can't speak to the mechanics of the latest edition I can give some more general advice.

    * Don't think in "roles", it's all just people trying to stay alive and get something done.
    * Don't do D&D style dungeons, this isn't a resource management game and they aren't using boffer weapons.
    * Get a handle, any handle, on iterative probability. It doesn't have to be perfect or mathy, just a rough understanding that three 30% chances is not like a 90% chance it's more like a 60% chance.
    * Real tactics are real strong. Gamey tactics only work if everyone agrees that they work.
    * Don't drop perfect stealth surprise rear attacks on the back line non-melee characters each and every time. It gets old fast.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    WFRP is a very traditional system, closer to D&D than most. But you should still avoid making too many assumptions. That being said, its reputation is overblown. WFRP is a realistic and dangerous system, but you can still succeed and survive.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    i messed with this game system about 25 years ago, and from what I recall, the best way to make a character was to plot out a "tree" like a skill tree, but each "box" in that tree would be a whole class/role or whatever it was.

    I went in with my GM and we were trying to figure out "ok, if my goal is to be able to kill a demon-something" (i think it was a big demon or demon lord or some such) what "class" do i have to play to have a good chance of succeeding?

    Well, we flipped through the rules and discovered that none of them could do it, but there was some kind of multiclass stacking you could do, and we ended up with this long tree of classes, which at the end of it, we had a character that had a chance of fighting Mr. Demon and not looking like a fool for wanting to try.

    If that's the case, and not just terrible memory of rules,

    Then I should say this:

    WHF characters are like slices of a character class, and even at their best, are probably no better than a level 5 D&D character. If that's the case, then your story arcs would have to follow the logic of 3-5 class jumps if you wanted to do something on the scale of Fighting Giants, hunting some multi headed dragon goddess, defeating an evil undead sorcerer, or as in my case, fighting a demon.

    Perhaps the rules have changed (it was the 1990s) but if they haven't, then you ought to know in advance normal Player characters are basically cannon fodder, even at "high" level.

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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    i messed with this game system about 25 years ago, and from what I recall, the best way to make a character was to plot out a "tree" like a skill tree, but each "box" in that tree would be a whole class/role or whatever it was.

    I went in with my GM and we were trying to figure out "ok, if my goal is to be able to kill a demon-something" (i think it was a big demon or demon lord or some such) what "class" do i have to play to have a good chance of succeeding?

    Well, we flipped through the rules and discovered that none of them could do it, but there was some kind of multiclass stacking you could do, and we ended up with this long tree of classes, which at the end of it, we had a character that had a chance of fighting Mr. Demon and not looking like a fool for wanting to try.

    If that's the case, and not just terrible memory of rules,

    Then I should say this:

    WHF characters are like slices of a character class, and even at their best, are probably no better than a level 5 D&D character. If that's the case, then your story arcs would have to follow the logic of 3-5 class jumps if you wanted to do something on the scale of Fighting Giants, hunting some multi headed dragon goddess, defeating an evil undead sorcerer, or as in my case, fighting a demon.

    Perhaps the rules have changed (it was the 1990s) but if they haven't, then you ought to know in advance normal Player characters are basically cannon fodder, even at "high" level.
    The rules have changed three times since then, since the OP is playing the fourth edition.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    Indeed, and my understanding was that the conventional wisdom regarding fighting Daemons regardless of edition was "DON'T." That they were deliberately too powerful for even a well-equipped and experienced party to handle (dragons are like that too), and should be treated more like a puzzle to solve or an obstacle to avoid.

    What I'm sort of looking for is information on what Talents and stuff are sort of the best "bang-for-your-buck" in terms of XP spent. For instance, in another thread I asked what Winds of Magic would be "least risky" in terms of ease of learning and minimizing catastrophic magical mishaps, and was informed that Bright Magic and Gold Magic were my best bets, while Jade, which I was initially looking at, was not only hard to cast effectively, but also that its damaging spells remove conditions like Fatigued and Bleeding, which can actually make fights HARDER as those conditions are great equalizers if you can inflict them on your enemies. That was extremely helpful advice, and I'm looking for more of it so I know what I'm doing with character building instead of just picking what seems most kewl for roleplaying and end up making an unfixable mistake...
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    I honestly wouldn't worry about ruining your character by taking the wrong talent or whatever else. WFRP has never been the most robust ruleset out there and 4E doesn't seem too different, but I've never heard of anything quite as bad. Though I have heard that magic rules are pretty counter-intuitive in several ways. Damaging Jade spells removing negative conditions is a new one, though. How is that supposed to work?
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    The thing is, none of the explicitly Jade spells do actual damage. It's just that now there are arcane spells that aren't attached to any specific Lore, but are modified by whatever Wind you're channeling, presumably to give spellcasters some measure of variety besides the 7 or so spells each Lore has.

    So if you cast the Bolt spell on a creature that ISN'T an undead or a Daemon, all Fatigued and Bleeding conditions on that creature are removed after the spell's other effects finish, since you channelled Ghyran to make the Bolt and your target recieved a shot of Life energy in addition to the damage of the spell. If that same Jade magic Bolt spell were cast at an undead creature, however, it would deal extra damage that ignores Toughness and Armor.

    A Bolt spell cast by a Bright Mage, on the other hand, has a chance to set its target on fire, while one from an Amber Mage can magically induce a Fear condition and Gold Mage's Bolt ignores metal armor and does extra damage depending on the targeted body-part's Armor Value.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    The thing is, none of the explicitly Jade spells do actual damage. It's just that now there are arcane spells that aren't attached to any specific Lore, but are modified by whatever Wind you're channeling, presumably to give spellcasters some measure of variety besides the 7 or so spells each Lore has.

    So if you cast the Bolt spell on a creature that ISN'T an undead or a Daemon, all Fatigued and Bleeding conditions on that creature are removed after the spell's other effects finish, since you channelled Ghyran to make the Bolt and your target recieved a shot of Life energy in addition to the damage of the spell. If that same Jade magic Bolt spell were cast at an undead creature, however, it would deal extra damage that ignores Toughness and Armor.

    A Bolt spell cast by a Bright Mage, on the other hand, has a chance to set its target on fire, while one from an Amber Mage can magically induce a Fear condition and Gold Mage's Bolt ignores metal armor and does extra damage depending on the targeted body-part's Armor Value.
    I can't tell if this is intentional or just sloppy editing. It could be no one stopped to think "okay, but what if a green mage casts Bolt on an enemy?". Especially giving all the other stuff I've heard. That said, if you like Jade magic, I don't know if I'd be put off by that alone.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    What other things HAVE you heard, out of curiosity?
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2021-01-05 at 11:19 AM.

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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I can't tell if this is intentional or just sloppy editing. It could be no one stopped to think "okay, but what if a green mage casts Bolt on an enemy?". Especially giving all the other stuff I've heard. That said, if you like Jade magic, I don't know if I'd be put off by that alone.
    I'm inclined to say it's fairly intentional; pretty sure that the various magical Lores aren't intended to be equal in all areas. Yeah, so, throwing offensive magic around as a Jade wizard isn't a great idea - but your allies will love you for your defensive magic that removes Bleed and Fatigue on them, as well as whatever other bonus effects it has. Whereas they're going to be just a smidge annoyed that the Bright wizard set them on fire trying to give them magic armour. Or the light wizard blinding them while enchanting a sword.


    It's always worth remembering, too, that Warhammer Fantasy has never gone for strict combat balance in the way that D&D tries to. It shoots more for campaign balance; if you can't contribute much in combat, you can almost certainly contribute lots out of combat while the party's main fighters are a lot less helpful - and combat isn't the focus of the system by any means, not least because if you try to dungeon crawl everyone just dies messily and quickly.
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    I have yet to start my 4th ed campaign yet, so I might have overlooked how a few things work in practice in the new edition, and might be leaning on old favourites which aren't as useful as they used to be.

    Generally, the aim-for Talents for melee combat were traditionally Strike to Stun, Strike to Injure, and Strike Mighty Blow (and Accurate Shot for ranged characters). Now, with no bonus attacks, Furious Assault and Riposte are going to be nice for a melee character to get extra hits in. Add to that, anything that ignores armour or chooses target location (Deadeye Shot, Sure Shot, Careful Strike) is always going to help when dealing with armoured foes.

    The Stat Bonus Talents (Marksman, Cool Headed, Lightening Reflexes, Savvy, Suave, Very Strong, Very Resilient, Warrior Born, etc) were always mandatory picks as soon as you could get them, since they were cheap as far as stat upgrades go, and as they add to your base stat, they don't inflict an xp cost on future upgrades either.

    Luck and Hardy are always worth getting as Fortune Points are life and Wounds, well, are even more life.

    If you intend to use the Medicine skill ever, get Surgery. Even if you're not, get Field Dressing, because bleeding will happen, and it will probably happen to the party Surgeon.

    Oh, and Sixth Sense, just because you never want to be in the situation where that would have saved your characters life.
    Last edited by Glorthindel; 2021-01-06 at 11:38 AM.

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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    What other things HAVE you heard, out of curiosity?
    I can't remember the details, just that using magic is supposedly counter-intuitive in how difficult it is. I admit I wasn't paying attention because I don't plan to play a magic user if I ever get to try WFRP 4E.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    I'm inclined to say it's fairly intentional; pretty sure that the various magical Lores aren't intended to be equal in all areas. Yeah, so, throwing offensive magic around as a Jade wizard isn't a great idea - but your allies will love you for your defensive magic that removes Bleed and Fatigue on them, as well as whatever other bonus effects it has. Whereas they're going to be just a smidge annoyed that the Bright wizard set them on fire trying to give them magic armour. Or the light wizard blinding them while enchanting a sword.
    That's fair. WFRP wizards are meant to be specialized and if you choose Jade magic, you're not really supposed to be smiting enemies left and right with magic bolts.

    It's always worth remembering, too, that Warhammer Fantasy has never gone for strict combat balance in the way that D&D tries to. It shoots more for campaign balance; if you can't contribute much in combat, you can almost certainly contribute lots out of combat while the party's main fighters are a lot less helpful - and combat isn't the focus of the system by any means, not least because if you try to dungeon crawl everyone just dies messily and quickly.
    I feel like WFRP is still pretty combat focused, just not as much as D&D.
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    I played a fair amount of the original Warhammer Fantasy RPG, and was excited to pick up the 4e rules. My excitement abated, once I reached the combat rules section. The new Advantage and degree of success and failure rules sealed the fate of me ever running the system.

    It strikes me as so cumbersome, at the point of play, that I do not think I will ever feel comfortable running it. The original ruleset works fine though...so you can always try that, if you are interested.

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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    WFRP is a very traditional system, closer to D&D than most. But you should still avoid making too many assumptions. That being said, its reputation is overblown. WFRP is a realistic and dangerous system, but you can still succeed and survive.
    You can, depending on what you're up against and who you are.

    A party consisting of a Squire, a Warrior Acolyte of Sigmar, a Recruit, and a Wizards apprentice are going to have an easier time fighting a Vargulf than a party consisting of a Beggar, an Artist, a Coachman, and a Servant.
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    I like the "hobo" in there.
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    What edition should I look into if I want to fool around with WHFRP for a while?
    Martialsí concepts donít evolve past the mundane
    High levels arenít just lower levels with bigger numbers
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    That depends on whether you're looking for a completed ruleset or for the most up-to-date version. If it's the former, you can find PDFs for both 1st and 2nd editions on DriveThruRPG, but 4th edition is actively being updated with new books and adventures in the present. 3rd Edition, from what I understand of it, required a bunch of extras like cards and box-sets to play, which is why the license went from Fantasy Flight to Cubicle7.

    Finally, the Zweihander RPG is sort of like the Pathfinder to 2e WFRP's D&D, extrapolating from its chassis and doing its own thing, including inspirations from similar dark fantasy settings like The Witcher, so it's not OFFICIALLY Warhammer unless you WANT to set your games in that setting.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    I'd recommend 2nd edition. Green Ronin did a load of books for it and the rules are close enough to 1st to adapt 1st Ed. stuff to it with relative ease. 3rd was ridiculously expensive and turned it into a card game and I must admit I know nothing about fourth
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    Default Re: WHFRP: Learning The Ropes?

    The fourth edition seems to have its problems, but I have some rather distinct memories of running and playing second edition and they're not great. I would at least strongly consider 4E.
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