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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default The General Vibe of Warhammer

    I'm considering joining a Warhammer roleplay on another forum I frequent, mainly because I'm curious about it. The thing is, everything I've heard about Warhammer (mainly from TV Tropes, so it's most likely flawed), paints it as a setting that takes idealistic people, has them sodomized by demons, tortured to within an inch of their life, their belief systems mercilessly crushed before their souls are finally torn from their body and dragged screaming into hell for some Cthulu-esque god's breakfast while their rotting carcass is reanimated by said god to serve as cannon-fodder. Lather, rinse and repeat.

    I like playing Lawful Good, Superman-esque characters, who always try to do the right thing, and everything I've heard seems to indicate that characters with such personalities are not welcome in Warhammer. A friend has recommended playing a High Elf, Wood Elf or a Bretonnian, but everything I've read about those isn't exactly rosy.

    Am I worrying too much about this? Have I been mislead? Should I just shun it like the plague?

    (Note: The available factions to be part of for the roleplay include the High Elves, the Wood Elves, the Dwarves, the Lizardmen, the Empire, Bretonnia, the Orcs and Goblins, possibly the Ogre Kingdoms. The Undead, Dark Elves, Skaven and Chaos factions have been banned for balance reasons.)
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2008-12-15 at 01:59 AM.
    "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: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    It is not so much the personality that would be a problem, but the fact that you will not be "super-heroic" by any stretch of the imagination. Fighting the good fight in an impossible situation is part of the attraction of the Warhammer campaign world, but the best you can reasonably hope for is probably a glorious death!
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    So it's not so much outright hostility to such characters as it is futility of said characters?
    "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: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    As a player of the RPG I can only say this, you start out as nothing special, then become a little bit better than the average person, and finally become a leader of men. However, you must remember, that everything can kill you and the best fight is the fight you avoid.
    "Stand together men, for we are the only defenders of this glade until spring arrives, heralding the return of our Lord and the Wild Hunt," Relar Sorin, Lord of the Tower of Eternal Winter and Eternal Guard Leader


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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Yes, characters with superheroic, stictly LG, mindset are unwelcome in Warhammer. Mostly because your allies and nations you protect routinely engage in various activities that would be evil in DnD terms. This is less blatant in Warhammer Fantasy, but still. And you're powerless to do anything about that. You're also almost powerless in general, being only slightly, if at all, above common thugs and bruisers, although you might get better with time and experience.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiro Kakita View Post
    As a player of the RPG I can only say this, you start out as nothing special, then become a little bit better than the average person, and finally become a leader of men. However, you must remember, that everything can kill you and the best fight is the fight you avoid.
    QFT

    Bolded for emphasis.

    All I can say is less lethal than CoC. Still very much so, though.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    The general vib eof Warhammer?

    SKULLS! MANY SKULLS! THERE ARE ALSO BANNERS WITH SKULLS ON THEM. MOUNTED ATOP THESE BANNERS ARE MORE SKULLS, FROM THE MOUTH OF WHICH HANG MORE BANNERS WITH SKULLS ON THEM.

    It's a silly place.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Warhammer is not high fantasy, unlike D&D. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a character with high-minded idealism, but expect to be very much the exception. One of the main themes of Warhammer is slow creeping corruption infiltrating society. The gods are at best distant and the threat of Chaos is constant. Those who fight chaos often end up corrupted by it, often insane. You should really be prepared to have your characters attitude change over time, and accept that they may not keep that Paladin-like outlook in the face of what they experience.
    Also, depending on what sort of character generation system the game uses, you may not have much choice about your starting profession. Standard is roll randomly twice and choose which one you want. It's easy enough to end up with a couple of professions which don't really fit your ideal, such as rag-picker or peasant.

    As other posters have already said, PCs are not particularly special on the Warhammer world. Its best to avoid fighting where possible, especially as you can get permanent injuries (like losing limbs) fairly easily.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    I have never (to my great disappointment) had the opportunity to play Warhammer, but I like the fluff and have read a lot.

    WH40K is Grimdark on Steroids and Gamma Bomb mutations.

    WH is less so, but appart from the Chaos Gods, and the problem they bring, there are parts of the setting that is very Real Life; a LG Paladin would not fit into a world where Politics seem to work like it does in real life, at least to a degree.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by RPGuru1331 View Post
    The general vib eof Warhammer?

    SKULLS! MANY SKULLS! THERE ARE ALSO BANNERS WITH SKULLS ON THEM. MOUNTED ATOP THESE BANNERS ARE MORE SKULLS, FROM THE MOUTH OF WHICH HANG MORE BANNERS WITH SKULLS ON THEM.

    It's a silly place.
    You forgot the SPIKES and the SPIKES WITH SPIKES ON THEM.
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Warhammer most certainly can be run in a heroic vein, but most people don't seem to want to play it that way. I'm currently playing in a face-to-face game where the GM isn't wanting to play that, and I quote:

    I've run WFRP once before, a couple of years ago. We went with the full randomised system, careers and all, and there was much fun had – the characters' were generally incompetent, yes, but that wasn't so much due to the oft-cited low ability scores that WFRP characters have but more down to, well, such fantastic decisions as infiltrating the sewers beneath a fortress only to realise they had forgotten to bring any light sources, or that sniffing warpstone powder was a fine idea. It was a good taste of the system and gave me some experience of how the combat part of the game runs – often at the expense of my beautiful, precious villains as they had their brains blown across the scenery or were shanked by determined PC's in close quarters.

    This time, I wanted to take the lessons I learned from that trial run and do something a little different. I'm afraid that my take on WFRP this time may anger some of the mud, blood and grime purists out there.

    So, my little rant. Skip straight past this if you just want the meat of the AP.

    A Grim World of Perilous Adventure: WFRP is dangerous. It's a gritty setting full of darkness and corruption, where diseases can be a truly lethal threat and where the combat system pulls no punches. Society is superstitious, ignorant and tends to call 'adventurers' what they are – mercenaries or criminals.

    That said, to quote myself, I do not intend to run a game where the players run a band of crippled rat-catchers wading through **** and getting dumped on by the world. I love that WFRP has that element, that the squalor and base tasks at the bottom of a feudal (yet evolving) society are right there in your face rather than sanitised at the back of a shiny fantasy land. I fully intend for it to be a Grim World, where the setting is one of power-plays between those desperate or ruthless enough; where people suffer through great hardships; where there are a myriad of external and internal threats; and where society is, often, quite ugly.

    But **** it, I love Colour Wizards.

    For all the claims that WFRP is about diseased rejects of society waist-deep in fetid slop, Warhammer is an unashamedly fantastical setting. There are colleges of wizards, mankind's great weapon that it also hates and mistrusts, who wield themed forms of magic. I think this is awesome. There are bizarre and crazed beasts of brain-hurting anatomical form, some of which have bizarre and alien societies and others of which are quite happy to just eat people, and these conflict and struggle with humanity. This too is awesome. There is truly ancient sorcery, artefacts and relics of vast power, grand sweeping plots of byzantine form and defiant heroism even in the face of doom. And this, you guessed it, is also awesome.

    I have no intention of throwing magic items at my players to result in D&D-style juggernauts clad tip-to-toe in sorcery. Magic and the fantastical is no shiny, clean thing – sorcery is dangerous and unreliable, while the strange things in the forest that look like fairies probably want to pull your teeth out and twine your guts around the trees. It's still dangerous. But WFRP is fantasy, and sometimes in truly grand style.

    More than that, WFRP does not have to be about incompetent cretins who get caught in horrible cultist plots by mistake and probably die. It does not have to be about the GM actively punishing players for every risk they take by making them contract diseases, lose limbs or die. These things are all possibilities, accepted risks for the characters, but I often see people pontificating about how the correct way to run WFRP is in an adversarial manner, out to get the PCs.

    Screw that.

    I want fantasy, and I want bravery and action. Both the fantasy and action are dangerous, and characters may die. That's the risk. But I am not out to 'get' the players, or their characters. I want an awesome game. A game of Perilous Adventure, not slopping out the pig pens and contracting pig-hock rot.

    Let's see if I can manage it.
    Which is cool. I wouldn't be much enjoying the "traditional" style of WFRP, because I hate unheroic games.

    That said there is still a lot of incompetence built into the system. Single-die-roll systems feature a lot of randomness, and not in a good way, IMO. Not only are chances to hit for starting characters pretty low, there's also an equal chance your opponent will block or dodge. So sometimes combats can be pretty frustrating when you finally land a blow, only for it to be negated. Rolling for damage as well means armoured opponents can he hard to hurt.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    The correct way to play WHFRP is to enjoy it and have fun.

    I have played WHFRP in both the ultra gritty, you cannot win style and also in a more heroic style, where the characters are bastions of light against the darkness. Both are 100% legitimate styles of the game.

    So really, what it boils down to, is what style your GM will use. The only thing to remember is that the system is a lot harsher, both in terms of getting hurt and getting spooked. Big Bad Things are generally going to wallop you 9 ways from Sunday.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    but the best you can reasonably hope for is probably a glorious death!
    And there is no glorious death either.
    But people will tell you there is, to string you along

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Zousha Omenohu View Post
    I'm considering joining a Warhammer roleplay on another forum I frequent, mainly because I'm curious about it. The thing is, everything I've heard about Warhammer (mainly from TV Tropes, so it's most likely flawed), paints it as a setting that takes idealistic people, has them sodomized by demons, tortured to within an inch of their life, their belief systems mercilessly crushed before their souls are finally torn from their body and dragged screaming into hell for some Cthulu-esque god's breakfast while their rotting carcass is reanimated by said god to serve as cannon-fodder. Lather, rinse and repeat.
    More like Knight Templars against everyone who doesn't agree with them. The fluff behind the series portrays the commoners as the type who wouldn't hesistate to join in on lynching suspected Chaos Cultists. The Elves are your standard haughty bastards, while the Dwarves are more Steam Punk-esque. The Chaos Cults themselves are pretty freaky (read the Liber Chaotica for a good idea on how freaky).

    I like playing Lawful Good, Superman-esque characters, who always try to do the right thing, and everything I've heard seems to indicate that characters with such personalities are not welcome in Warhammer. A friend has recommended playing a High Elf, Wood Elf or a Bretonnian, but everything I've read about those isn't exactly rosy.
    Bretonnians fit the concept easily, though their national history is somewhat off-target from their ideals. This may be an understatement.

    Am I worrying too much about this? Have I been mislead? Should I just shun it like the plague?

    (Note: The available factions to be part of for the roleplay include the High Elves, the Wood Elves, the Dwarves, the Lizardmen, the Empire, Bretonnia, the Orcs and Goblins, possibly the Ogre Kingdoms. The Undead, Dark Elves, Skaven and Chaos factions have been banned for balance reasons.)
    They allow Orks, but not Chaos? Orks are one of the main enemies of the Empire, and are likey to be lynched on sight if they travel in numbers less than 7.

    How they (Orks) know there are at least 7 Orks in a single group is beyond me though.

    In all, the Warhammer Fantasy system takes the whole Crapsack World and dials it up to 11, while putting a comedic spin on things. If your DM plays exactly by the books, you can expect to be diseased with some kind of comedically twisted form of herpes by the end of the third session at the very least. If he runs it like the novels based on the background though, it would be far more gritty and less of a huge joke.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Zousha Omenohu View Post
    I like playing Lawful Good, Superman-esque characters, who always try to do the right thing, and everything I've heard seems to indicate that characters with such personalities are not welcome in Warhammer. A friend has recommended playing a High Elf, Wood Elf or a Bretonnian, but everything I've read about those isn't exactly rosy.
    2nd Edition WFRP is actually a bit more bright and shiny than the previous edition, particularly for the Empire. This is a nod towards the theme for the current incarnation of Warhammer Fantasy Battles: not every single important person in the Empire is secretly a mutant chaos cultist. So yes, there is room for a few goodie-two-shoes "taste my righteousnes, chaos-scum!" paladin-types. There are some WFB personalities that swing that way.

    Which may not help you if your GM is of the old-school variety and prefers the dark and gritty background from the 1st Edition. Ask him what his preferences are, and bounce some character ideas off of him. He should be able to tell you wether your character concept will fit or not.

    And I'd second the Bretonnian suggestion. Lots of knights from over there, they should fit your "heroic" mold perfectly. The background on the Knights of the Grail leaves it an open question whether or not the Goddess they worship is divinely inspired or some eff'ed up chaos demon. You can also act all snooty, and if anything too dark and gritty gets in your face, you can loudly proclaim, "Well, in Bretonnia, *our* mutants at least have enough self-respect not to soil all over themselves!"

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Everything I've known of Warhammer paints a picture of people with 2 sides, Dark and Light.
    Are the Brettonians an idealistic race of humans, fighting off violent aggressors or Imperialist zealots, bent on forcing their version of morality on everyone?

    Are Chaos the dark spawn of a foul god who seeks to undo the miracle of life or are they the balancing force in the universe, preventing corrupt law and order from costing people their souls? (Yeah this one is a stretch, but the average Chaos berzerker cares not a jot for his God, only for the pure fury of battle.)

    Are the Vampire counts noble vassals who raise their most loyal servants to serve them forever in undeath, rewarding them with immunity to the judgement of the Gods or vile undead creatures, bent on creating a twisted fascimile of life to serve their whims?

    Are the Orcs (pre-40k = spelling it right damnit) a violent race of animals who happen to walk like men or are they on the cusp of developing an ordered society when the Brettonians march in and force them to take up arms?

    Getting the picture? The character is what you make it, entirely put on by your perspective. You can be a righteous warrior of the Brettonians who abhors corruption and injustice or you can be a zealot "paladin" torturing captured foes and stomping over developing factions.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    They allow Orks, but not Chaos? Orks are one of the main enemies of the Empire, and are likey to be lynched on sight if they travel in numbers less than 7.
    How they (Orks) know there are at least 7 Orks in a single group is beyond me though.
    Because instinctively they realize they are now part of a minimum sized WAAAGH!

    Duh.


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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    I see. Well, I guess I'll join. We're using a free-form system (mainly because the GM doesn't have the books, and doesn't want to be hassled with them).

    The basic rule is something like this:

    You could play as anything on the army list with the exception of monsters, war machines, chariots and mounts. You would (most likely) be the champion model for the unit or be a character model. If you would like to play a monster, something from the background or anything else that seems like it wouldnt quite fit then make a case for it.
    The only other person who's in at the moment is playing a Kislev, either a Winged Lancer, or Horse Archer.

    I'll probably play a Bretonnian.
    "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: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Zousha Omenohu View Post
    I see. Well, I guess I'll join. We're using a free-form system (mainly because the GM doesn't have the books, and doesn't want to be hassled with them).

    The basic rule is something like this:



    The only other person who's in at the moment is playing a Kislev, either a Winged Lancer, or Horse Archer.

    I'll probably play a Bretonnian.
    Where and on what medium is this game taking place? And is he going for the more heroic feel that you are wanting?

    I might be interested in joining.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    It's taking place online, play-by-post style I suppose you could call it. Just follow the link to "The Respite" in my sig, and look under the "Other RPs" section. It's still in it's formative stages, so actual roleplay hasn't started yet. We'd love to have you. We're always on the lookout for new players!
    "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: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Check your PMs OPer.
    Last edited by Kizara; 2008-12-15 at 09:47 AM.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Paladin is definitly a doable option. Though if I were to play in WFRP, I would stick closer to an extremist spin. The crusader bent on converting all to his way of viewing things. One who can't really tell good from evil, but can sure tell if someone worships different from him. But that's just me, Ive played that in dnd, with a fighter who firmly believed he was a paladin. He was an adherent of some random setting specific deity, and even if you worshiped him, if you didn't worship the same way he did, oh boy were you in for a smiting (Really just a power attack, but he thought that he was using smite). Also did a d20 Modern/Future of WH40k before the 40k rpg book was published. Played an inquisitor who didn't believe that the emperor was a divine being, but still fought to makesure others didn't find out, because the emperor was the banner that people rallied behind, its what gave the empire hope and inspiration, and without the worship and the Eclesiarchy(the name of the state church in 40k) the empire would splinter and man kind would fall. Most of my characters development was an exercize in comming to grips with that realization. So that is something to consider given that the church of sigmar in WH fantasy is very similar to the church of the emperor in 40k.
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    As a Bretonnian though, that won't be much of an issue for me. And it's not like the Empire worships every emperor. Sigmar was more than just that. He made the Empire, and that's what they worship him for, if my understanding is correct.
    "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: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    While it has already been said that Warhammer Fantasy is brighter than 40k, and 2e is brighter than 1e, I will mention something unusual: in Poland, for a long, long time WFRP 1e was the default RPG system almost everyone played, just like DND in the US for the past God-knows-how-many years. This resulted in Poles playing the game differently than the rest of the world - while everywhere else people played grim and horrible adventures where characters are constantly covered in crap and can feel lucky if they survive, here it was just a low fantasy system where lethality is higher than post-second level DND, and magic items aren't easy to stumble into, but the tone of games varied from dark to downright cheerful, just like with other games.

    It's worth noting that official supplements aren't all grimdark either - in most of the published adventures, the characters are hired to do some good deed. And they succeed.

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    As a Brettonian your character will probably worship The Lady, but you might also consider Solkan as being an approriate diety for your character type
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Another option for a "brighter" character would be someone from Estalia- for people there, Chaos is much less intimidating than for the people of the Empire, since they live futher to the south, away from the Chaos Wastes.
    Last edited by Morty; 2008-12-15 at 11:01 AM.
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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    As far as I can tell, Estalia isn't an option. What is Estalia like, anyhow?
    "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: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    The background on the Knights of the Grail leaves it an open question whether or not the Goddess they worship is divinely inspired or some eff'ed up chaos demon.
    I recall leafing through a copy of a rulebook from one of the earlier editions of Warhammer (forget which one) and being intrigued to notice that you could have Daemons of concepts/ideals other than Chaos. Daemons of Order or Evil (which was distinct from Chaos) or even Good! Daemons are given form by the dreams and emotions of the intelligent races, after all, so it makes a certain amount of sense.
    Of course, now Chaos is The Source Of Daemons And All Other Nastiness (TM) and Order is simply the name chosen by those who band together against it (including, at certain junctures, Count Von Carstein ).
    I wonder what happened to all those Good Daemons? Did it turn out to be all big deception by Tzeentch all along? Was there not a high enough level of Hope and Love in the world to sustain them and they all starved? Maybe they all got et by Nurglings, who most certainly don't fight fair or nice.


    But anyway, to the OP:

    [lengthy preamble]
    Spoiler
    Show

    I would say there is a certain confusion in the vibe of Warhammer. The fiction and the RPG tend to try and focus on the grim and gritty aspect of it; the material surrounding wargame itself wobbles backward and forwards between trying to match the dark tone of the setting and trying to incorporate the crazy things that the designers made up apparently just for the lulz (Squigs, the Halfling Hotpot, Bologs the Giant, etc).

    If you can avoid all mention and thought of the wacky stuff, however, then you're left with a world of black versus grey morality.

    The forces of Chaos may possibly contain the occasional tragic figure with some sympathetic traits (e.g. child born with some minor deformity, hated and feared by his family and neighbours, eventually blamed for some misfortune like a sick cow or something, chased from town by angry mob, joins pack of mutants and Beastmen deep in the forest, they're the only ones who've ever sympathised with him) but even those are still fundamentally unpleasant people (e.g. joins his newfound friends in worshipping the Ruinous powers, leads them in an attack on the hometown that spurned him, kills all within its walls and makes his mother's skin into a cloak) and the problems that led to their fall from grace can usually be traced back to other agents/forces of Chaos anyway (e.g. mutation of the chosen is a hallark of Chaos and it's entirely possible they were reponsible for the sick cow and/or the casting of blame on the child too) as Chaos is ulitmately led by literal embodiments of the fears of mankind.

    Ranged against this horde of Daemons, mutants, madmen and murderers are various nations and factions who usually squabble amongst themselves but when faced with a serious threat from Chaos will refer to themselves collectively as order and join ranks to defend their homes.

    [/lengthy preamble]
    Despite being in opposition to such a model of degeneracy as Chaos, the humans, dwarves, elves, etc. of the Warhammer world are not paragons of virtue.
    They are as fully capable as real people in the real world of selfishness, hatred, spite, corruption and various other forms of evil. This is, I think, the best way of understanding the moral character of the Warhammer world as a whole: It is much the same as the real world, both good and bad, except in the areas where Chaos intervenes, where it becomes worse in. And Chaos likes to stick its nose in everywhere.
    This is not to say that good people with good intentions cannot and do not exist. But they will have to overcome ignorance, deception and misfortune to see which path is right and they will have to battle against temptation, the self-interest of others and malignant supernatural forces in order to walk that path.
    Good luck with that.
    If a tree falls in the forest and the PCs aren't around to hear it... what do I roll to see how loud it is?

    Is 3.5 a fried-egg, chili-chutney sandwich?

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    It's Italy in disguise, to be brief. Old World is heavily stylized, as you have most likely noticed.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The General Vibe of Warhammer

    I thought Tilea was Italy, and Estalia is Spain?

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