Thursday, August 13, 2009

WFRP News

I never got into Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay during its heyday, but it's a game I've always admired for its clever design and unique esthetics. I own a copy of the rulebook and consider it evidence that Games Workshop (and, later, Hogshead Publishing) stayed true to the Old Ways well after TSR and most other RPG companies had abandoned them. Consequently, it's a bit disheartening to read this press release from Fantasy Flight Games, WFRP's current publisher, which announces the release of a third edition of the game this Fall. All the usual buzzwords are there -- "re-introduce," "revolutionary approach," "flavor," "positive paradigm shift" -- and, were I a fan of WFRP, I'd be deeply worried that my favorite RPG was being turned into something quite different, both mechanically and stylistically, from its hallowed predecessors.

According FFG's website, the new edition will include:
  • 4 comprehensive rule books provide all the knowledge you will need on the Old World
  • Over 30 Custom Dice give you unprecedented options for story-telling
  • Party sheets provide new skills and abilities to keep everyone engaged
  • 40 different careers and 4 different races offer a multitude of character options
  • More than 300 cards keep you in the game, no need to look up skills or abilities
  • Three character keepers designed to hold everything your hero will need each session
This "core set" -- implying there will be expansions of various sorts -- will also retail for $99.95. Maybe I'm just out of touch, but that strikes me as ridiculously expensive for a RPG, more in line with those deluxe boardgames that FFG and other companies have been producing lately. Of course, that may be exactly the point. FFG may very well be modeling the new edition on its boardgames. If so, I don't see that as a positive turn of events, but then I'm not a WFRP player, so maybe I'm letting my grognardly D&D ways cloud my judgment about what truly is a "revolutionary approach" for an old school classic.

Regardless, I do think this announcement is important and not just for WFRP fans. I suspect it's the canary in the coal mine for a major shift in the way "RPGs" will be designed, produced, and marketed in the future. Years from now we may be looking back on this as the day everything changed in the hobby and, from my narrow perspective anyway, not in a good way.

73 comments:

  1. I am pained to see this. I LOVE WFRP and hate to see it go this way.

    I never got into Warhammer Quest but I believe it was similar to this 3rd edition of WFRP.

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  2. I have been very outspoken on this "Critical Fail" by FFG (www.anothercaffeinatedday.com).

    As a current GM for WFRP 2nd edition, and GM for WFRP 1st edition for more years than I can count, this is a "canary in the coal mine." The dead canary.

    FFG developed this in secret, without input from the very rapid fan base that WFRP has. I'm not in the least excited, having invested heavily in 2ed and not getting the "splat books" and resource material I wanted: Elves, Dwarves, Lustria, etc.

    Instead I'm being asked to buy again? Bah. If they want to give it to me, I'll evaluate, but won't play. Nor recommend it.

    First look at FFG leans impressions that this is an attempt produce a version that is nothing more than a D&D 4e clone. And if I wanted to play an MMORPG I'd upgrade my computer, not my RPG.

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  3. Yeah, I heard the WFRP 3E news a while back.

    * Dice pools?
    * Ability cards?
    * "a strange hybrid of board game and roleplaying game"?
    * "a clear desire to make it fit properly with the [IP]"
    (source)

    That all sounds depressingly familiar. $100US for a game I already own? No thanks!

    wv: upers - as in "GW must be on them if they think this will sell in this economic climate"

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  4. Yeah, I commiserated with Chris at rumour of this unfortunate turn of events last month. Needless cash in.

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  5. "new abilities to keep everyone engaged." This mimics 4E. Everyone must have something to contribute-ability wise, in every encounter.

    Is it me? I don't remember complaining that my MU wasn't actively participating when the thief was disarming a trap.

    My guess for the real reason of the change? To make the rpg rules match up with the WAR (world of warhammer) mmorpg rules.

    WotC did this when they realized that vancian magic and "touch required" healing spells didn't work in video games like DDO. So we get a new game that can translate into online play.

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  6. Everything about this worries me, as it all seems to be heading away from what made WFRP so unique, in particular the almost-Cthulhu system itself and the more gritty and grubby version of the setting. It may very well end up a good game, but it won't be WFRP. I'm dreading an rpg equivalent of the superhero fantasy of the Warhammer wargame circa third edition.

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  8. I am surprised that you are not more of a fan of Runebound and Descent, FFG's board games with role-playing flavor. Both use random characters in a model that emphasizes player skill. Descent even comes with a small megadungeon. The books don't tell you how to play an old-school style game... but I think they tell you as much as the old D&D books did. What do you think?

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  9. I'm an old RPGer who has returned to the hobby after about 20 years away. I got to play WFRP 2nd edition a couple of time, and loved it. I'm sad to hear that it seems to be going the way of 4E.

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  10. The irony of Descent, is that it's more or less Games Workshop's Advanced Heroquest by another name.

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  11. Not knowing much about WFRP, I can't speak to the changes in the game. However, a $99.99 MSRP isn't much different from the $90 or so it requires to obtain the three D&D core books for 4e...

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  12. At last! A version of a game system which I am into at which I can mutter & shake my fist. Kids these days!

    Guess I should finish out my WFRP 2e collection and count myself happy to have it.

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  13. On a more positive note, this is more or less what people have been clamouring for as an introductory roleplaying product; it looks like something the average non-roleplayer can recognise, ie, a boxed game set.

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  14. @Jefferson, nearly my point. What's the draw? Not the price tag. Imagine you're a 4e player, already invested in the 3 core + 1 or 2 splat/supplements and into $90-110USD. And you're playing with a group of regulars equally invested.

    If I was this person, it's a non-starter. And the uphill battle to get my circle of friends to make the same commitment. Good luck with all that FFG.

    WFRP 2e is fleshed out enough I can play til I'm 60 for free, living by EGG own axiom (paraphrased): you don't need the books to play.

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  15. Wow…I am a 1st edition WFRP gamer (wow, what is it with me? 1stE AD&D, 1stEd Stormbringer…I must like my RPGs old and violent!). I passed on the 2nd edition WFRP when it was offered up…what…two years ago? Oh, I paged through it, but let’s face facts, the game worked AS IS for 20-some years even changing publishers.

    However, while I do NOT intend to purchase the 3rd edition any more than the 2nd, I am extremely intrigued at this turn of events. A return to the “boxed” RPG? Will it be sold in toy stores like a high end board game? I have one game shop near my house that ONLY stocks boxed games, puzzles, and Magic cards (no RPG books or dice in other words)…would it carry the new WFRP on its shelf?

    From a design/publishing point of view, I will be very interested in seeing how this “deluxe edition” pans out for them. I, for one, would like to see RPGs return to toy stores instead of being on the back wall of the comic shop or in the “adult fantasy books” section of Barnes & Nobles.

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  16. As Warhammer becomes more 4E-ified the less chances a GM will have to sink barges.

    The charm of the Warhammer world is the nihilistic sense of despair: you don't win. You save the day, but tomorrow is another challenge that could easily overwhelm you and the rest of your pathetic group as they dare to oppose Chaos.

    The idea of "everyone is engaged" sounds a little too shiny and happy for the Warhammer world. The British should have kept the game going, not us Yanks. The foreboding sense of doom and dark humor is not an American trait.

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  17. WFRP 1e was a good game (and still is). Many, many years later, BI brought out WFRP2, and that game is nearly damned perfect for roleplaying in the Old World. If I have a gripe with the second ed., it's that it's too tied to the setting to easily use for other settings. Dark Heresy, the 40K RPG based on WFRP2 is a nice, tight game as well.

    This "3e" news is painful to me. It looks like a DnD 4e-ism of WFRP.

    I wonder what this will do for the upcoming Rogue Trader RPG? Will it be based on the current system or be put on hold until the revamp?

    sigh

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  18. I realize that my "old school" credentials are already in the gutter, but I'm holding out hope for this. Granted, I don't have the problem of being an existing WFRP player and watching my game line get changed, but I still love and play my Warhammer Quest game, and this new version of the game looks like it may hew more towards the WQ way of doing things.

    Granted, to date we have no hard information to form any opinions on (I evaluate RPGs based on gameplay experience, not marketing blurbs), and it could end up being trash, or treasure, or likely both (the whole "one man's trash..." thing). So I will resist the opportunity to foam at the mouth and kick those damn kids off my lawn, while keeping a critical eye out for the actual play experiences to start coming out whenever the game releases.

    And to whoever pointed out the similarity in cost between a $100 sticker price box and three $35 sticker price core books: spot on, mate. I understand in non-US countries VAT can be highly different between box games and books, but the overall price still looks similar to Hasbro D&D, the obvious competition. I actually like that somebody is trying something different in the RPG space; we'll just have to see how it works.

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  19. To summarize my thoughts on the new edition of Warhammer Role-play

    a) It will really annoy fans of the older editions
    b) It will attract eurogame fans into play a RPGs and expand the market.
    c) pioneer a new format for RPGs that will create a niche in the larger market.

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  20. I'm just surprised that the press release didn't manage to include the words "old school" (whether or not it applied).

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  21. From what I understand they are not sending teams out to collect and destroy all previous editions of WFRP. Also, I believe, those editions are still very playable.

    FFG has very high production values, and they have some smart designers over there who I know personally and have worked with.

    I'm an old school gamer, and a fan of all things old school, but I can also appreciate creativity, innovation, and new vitality in old properties. Quite a bit of overreaction on this here thread - the product isn't even out yet for an honest review.

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  22. I am surprised that you are not more of a fan of Runebound and Descent

    I've nearly bought Descent on numerous occasions, but, in the end, the price has always been an impediment to my doing so.

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  23. However, a $99.99 MSRP isn't much different from the $90 or so it requires to obtain the three D&D core books for 4e...

    Very true, but then I wouldn't spend that much on 4e either -- or any other RPG.

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  24. At last! A version of a game system which I am into at which I can mutter & shake my fist.

    Welcome to the club!

    More seriously, it will be very interesting to see how WFRP fans react to this latest edition, coming so soon after 2e.

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  25. On a more positive note, this is more or less what people have been clamouring for as an introductory roleplaying product; it looks like something the average non-roleplayer can recognise, ie, a boxed game set.

    True, although I've not been clamoring for a $100 boxed set. Maybe I'm just out of touch, but I have a hard time imagining many young kids plunking down that kind of money for a RPG, even if it does come in a box with lots of well-made components.

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  26. b) It will attract eurogame fans into play a RPGs and expand the market.
    c) pioneer a new format for RPGs that will create a niche in the larger market.


    I agree that both are possibilities and I suspect FFG is rolling the dice to see if they can achieve them, but they're far from certainties.

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  27. I'm just surprised that the press release didn't manage to include the words "old school" (whether or not it applied).

    Now that you mention it, that is rather surprising. Perhaps the term doesn't have much meaning in the WFRP community.

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  28. How old must one be to be considered a Grognard?
    I'm beginning to think I'm becoming one, and I'm only twenty.

    The sad thing is not that Fantasy Flight Games are producing a new and interesting game, it's that an tried and tested game had to be scrapped to do so.

    My WFRP v2 books aren't going away, but this does make it likely that no more material will be published for the original system.
    (Although if there's anything the Old-School movement has shown, it's that one mustn't underestimate the ingenuity of fans.)

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  29. Of course, through Amazon, 4E only costs $66.12 for all 3 main books. I don't know what kind of discount WFRP 3E will get from Amazon, but it looks from here like the boardgames also get sizable markdowns.

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  30. Warhammer like Shadowrun has always been a goldmine of information I can take from one system and apply it to my current D&D games. I use these books as interesting ideas but simply because I can NEVER find players I just port the information over and run with it.

    I usually pickup these books on the cheap and more is better for me.

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  31. I think at this point I can officially say that I've completely broken with the "old school" crowd.

    Fantasy Flight produces games with extremely high production values, and this upcoming version of WFRP appears to hold to that trend.

    I certainly have no qualms about paying for said quality, even if I have to shell out over $100 for the "basic rules" of a game. Heck, I have well over a grand worth of RPG products on my shelves - including several books from the much-maligned 4E.

    I love how the old-school movement has become so jaded and cynical that they attack a game before even reading through it. Do you honestly believe that it would be impossible to enjoy this new version of WFRP as much as, say, Labyrinth Lord?

    Really, it's a pity.

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  32. I suspect FFG is rolling the dice to see if they can achieve them, but they're far from certainties.

    Based on Zach's report on how their booth looked (a sea of board games)

    http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=14969&page=4

    I suspect they are trying to cash-in on a property with a cool background like A Game of Thrones rather than do anything revolutionary.

    If that so then positioning it as the successor to the RPG will probably be viewed as a marketing fiasco.

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  33. "From what I understand they are not sending teams out to collect and destroy all previous editions of WFRP."

    Here's why people get upset: "In economics and business, a network effect (also called network externality) is the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other people."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect

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  34. Hmmm....time between editions first and second: 20+ years

    Time between editions second and third: 4 years.

    $100? Multiple core books? No thanks. My copies of WFRP 2nd and 1st editon play just fine.

    I'm still grateful to FFG for saving WFRP and WH40KRP from the jaws of death, but I'm afraid this is where I get off the train. Better snap up those 2nd edition editon "someday" books before they're gone.

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  35. I can actually see what FFG are thinking. The true WHFRP fanatics will automatically buy the new edition, but their real target are the swarms of kids playing Warhammer. If they bring the role-playing game even closer in alignment to the wargame, perhaps even allowing official cross-pollination between the two, there is a vast relatively untapped market to exploit. And given the prices that Games Workshop and Citadel charge normally, US$99.99 isn't really that horrendous.

    As for people who have already bought the game, well, you've already spent your money on the old editions, and it is unlikely that you will repurchase it. To make the property really worthwhile for them, they do have to market something new. Basic consumption-based economics, really.

    And yes, it will create an old school/new school split. But that's fine. Look what 4e inspired in D&D - extra vital branches looking at different approaches to the problem.

    And I think that an approach that is closer in style to fantasy boardgames will work, especially in an Old School style role-playing environment such as the Warhammer Fantasy world. It's worked for other Games Workshop boardgames of a similar bent (and similar price tag).

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  36. You know, I’m beginning to think the “post D&D 3e” era is going to have some interesting developments. A lot of different things are going to be tried, and—as usual—most of them won’t work out, but there are lessons to be learned from mistakes. And some good ideas will get some additional exposure as well.

    I see three ways to look at grognardhood. (1) You were an advisor to Napolean. (2) You played Napoleonic minatures on a sandtable. (3) You grumble. (^_^)

    I don’t really care about network effects that much. (Whenever I’ve been able to find gamers, I haven’t had any trouble finding the type who will play nigh anything.) I merely lament whenever a brand new work pretends to be a new edition of an old work.

    Be proud of your work! Let it stand on its own!

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  37. I really don't have time to respond to this properly and read all the comments (will do after work) but while WFRP is far from perfect (is any RPG?) a new set of rules is not what it needs - we already dropped a bomb to get the 1st way back when!

    I'm discovering that there's a whole generation of players and GMs who really think they need the rules-based training wheels and just won't let go.

    BTW I'm starting a games company. Our first release will be a second edition of Chess. Pawns will now have a whole set of skills to help deal with wandering Knights, and there will be a Chess Spell & Feats Compendium for Bishops, Queens and Knights. Only $350, includes dice and 745p rule book.

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  38. I'm quite intrigued by what the game will be like (although I'm wary about spending that much on it!), but honestly, what bothers me most is this talk of changing the setting to more closely resemble the wargame. The rpg has such a unique setting, and I'd hate to see it watered down.

    Still, one advantage of rpgs is that I don't have to accept the official word on either rules or setting. I can play in the original mud-and-syphilis setting using the original rules, or I could take this as an opportunity to give my ideas about using BRP or Savage Worlds a go.

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  39. Delta: last I checked Original D&D, 1st edition, 2nd edition all look to have thriving communities. And by the looks of Pathfinder I'd say 3.5 is still doing gangbusters.

    Chris T: actually that sounds like a great idea! I'd buy that game if the pieces and board and design were well made.

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  40. @Ben Overmeyer: Have fun out there!

    I don't think that WFRPv2 was finished. As a matter of fact, nobody yet has had the stones to complete the Warhammer world in detail before zipping off to a new edition.

    Maybe there will be Fluffy Chaos Bunnies that giving healing surge lollipops out to those intrepid adventurers in the Warhammer world, which now sounds like:

    A well trodden path of safe adventure.

    Grim? Perilous? Heavens no! Somebody could tear their trousers +2!


    Before you think I am too grognard: I run the WFRP and True20 Yahoogroups! :)

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  41. ChrisT = Steve Jackson Games tried to "re-do" chess with "Knightmare Chess" - it sold for awhile and has die-hard fans, but didn't create a new mass interest in chess. Not quite as expensive I'll admit, butnot what I'd call a raving success either.

    http://www.sjgames.com/knightmare/

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  42. @Thomas Denmark

    I think the thing is different people have different demands for product support. Like you, I'm mostly of the camp that says "Who cares about a new edition? I'll still keep playing with the books I got." but other folks might want or need more published materials for their games and will be faced with converting to the new system or making do without those updates. Especially if they want to do something within a larger context than just a home campaign.

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  44. Knightmare Chess (or the original game that inspired it) was less designed to be a replacement for chess than a whole lot of the many other chess variants that preceded it.

    Knightmare Chess is more like UA or Players Option. Tile Chess is more like a new edition. (^_^) (Which reminds me, I need to give Tile Chess a try sometime.)

    But, yeah. Imagine that FIDE suddenly announced that Knightmare Chess or Tile Chess or Gygax’s Dragonchess or Grand Chess was now the new chess. Sure, you could still play “classic chess”. New organizations could be set up to replace FIDE et al. for “classic chess”. But it would be sure to cause an uproar and confusion.

    (Though, it’d probably cause a spike in chess club memberships and sales of chess sets, books, and software. Any publicity is good publicity. ^_^)

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  45. Wow. As someone who recently played through a short campaign of this game, and really enjoyed it, this is bad news. Especially with the details given. Not only did the (2nd ed.) system fit properly with the thematic ambience of the game, it ran rather smoothly. I suppose they wanted to do this because of the publisher switch?

    Incidentally, the guy who wrote and designed WFRP 2nd, Chris Pramas, is designing the Dragon Age pen-and-paper game (goes with a CRPG coming out this year).

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  46. James, figure that inflation has generally roughly doubled prices since 1984-85. Think of what $50 or so would have gotten you back then in RPGs. Then think of the fancier production these days (full color and all) -- plus a nice box, apparently.

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  47. @bighara
    yeah for all my ripping on WFRP 3e I'm still really keen to check out Dark Heresy too some day..

    @ancientvaults
    The idea of "everyone is engaged" sounds a little too shiny and happy for the Warhammer world. The British should have kept the game going, not us Yanks.

    It sounds totally vanilla.

    @Reverence Pavane
    I can actually see what FFG are thinking. The true WHFRP fanatics will automatically buy the new edition, but their real target are the swarms of kids playing Warhammer.

    I feel sorry for those kids b/c they're really gonna get grief playing this at school..

    The younger generation always pays for the sins of the previous.

    To make the property really worthwhile for them, they do have to market something new. Basic consumption-based economics, really.

    Yeah I get it. But I'm the kind of person who thinks this kind of economics is the refuge of the grey and the gutless - cf. the music industry now vs. that 20, 30, 60 years ago.

    @Thomas Denmark
    Chris T: actually that sounds like a great idea! I'd buy that game if the pieces and board and design were well made.

    I can assure you that a small family of Chinese sweat-shop workers will die cold and hungry if they are not.

    @Branduan
    I'm afraid Knightmare Chess is far too affordable and the simple addition of a customisable set of cards far too portable and straight-forward than what Pleonasm Games has in mind.

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  48. FFG is best at making boardgames, and that--despite rhetoric to the contrary--is what this new edition is, a boardgame with delusions of being a proper TRPG. That's how I accept this, a new edition of Warhammer Quest, and not WFRP.

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  49. I'll probably give this one a whirl.

    Any annoyance I had with GW letting good games die while using branding and versioning to bilk their fan base died long, long ago.

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  50. I'm a huge fan of WHFRP - it was the first game I ran as a gamemaster and has some of the best campaign books I've ever read. I briefly played 2e, but it SU-UCKS.

    IF 3e is like Warhammer Quest, the game MIGHT be cool. Warhammer Quest was fun as hell but it was absolutely not a role-playing game. It was a beer and pretzels game! The dungeon rean itself and was a quick hack-n-slash game, outside of the dungeon the game made use of frankly awesome charts which were flavorful and hilarious.

    Warhammer quest was "old-school" in the sense that it was very easy to die or languish in failure and players really had to work together and play smart.

    Like most of you, I think this 3e will be taking cues from 4e D&D, but if it takes a different route, one where it merges Warhammer Quest difficulty and flavor (which is a lot like Talisman and other old GW products) with honest-to-god role-playing, I would totaly play it.

    I give this about a 1 in 20 chance.

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  51. I'm about to commit terrible heresies, so everyone may wish to plug their ears.

    I could not be happier about this. I found the original game to be unplayably gritty and harsh, devoid of fun, and roote in a highly unpleasant setting (So is this one, of course but that's okay, I could work with it then and I will work with it now)

    But here's why you should be excited about it.

    1) How fucking novel is this? having had a look at some of these custom dice I thing they're the most clever thing since Gary decided "Hey, if I scribble numbers on these platonic solids, I don't have to use monopoly dice for every blamed thing".

    2) It's a fucking box set. All this time pissing and moaning "Why don't the big companies put out box sets any more?" And now they put one out and just because you don't like the system you bitch about it. Well maybe this'll be an opportunity for you to either learn to be careful what you wish for or to be grateful when something goes just partly your way, even though it may not be as far as you hoped.

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  52. 2) It's a fucking box set. All this time pissing and moaning "Why don't the big companies put out box sets any more?" And now they put one out and just because you don't like the system you bitch about it.

    I don't think anyone who's skeptical about WFRP 3e is skeptical about it because it's a boxed set, though. A full-fledged RPG -- any RPG -- in a boxed set is something I'd genuinely cheer, but, from the sounds of it, this will be a very different kind of game and it's that fact that's getting people worried.

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  53. I will not buy that 3rd Ed. "WFRP" board game.

    I am not complaining that somebody produces a boxed set of a RPG. I am not complaining that somebody starts something new. I am complaining that FFG is letting die a good game to do so.

    If they produced something likne that and call it "the WFRP board game" and would still provide supplemental material for the pen'n'paper RPG WFRP, then I'd probably buy both.

    But replacing a game with something totally different doesn't work with me.

    Let me forecast: In a couple of years from now, after loosing the license, another publisher will take over and combine both "worlds" if FFG is not clever enough to do so.

    cu
    Oliver Rosenkranz

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  54. I guess I just don't see why another edition is necessary. I have run 2nd edition and played 1st edition, and while I'm not crazy about the magic system in either edition, I didn't find any problems with the game that were in need of revision. In fact, I don't feel like we ever got a complete look at the game world in either edition.

    I was always delighted by Warhammer Fantasy's setting because it was a break from heroic fantasy...I like grim and gritty and WFRP has always delivered on this.

    I'll put it like this: if I find a group that is playing it, I'll ask to join, but I'm not dropping $100 on Warhammer when I already have a perfectly servicable library of WFRP goodness on my bookshelf.

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  55. Rach, what are these custom dice like, exactly? Are they like the combat dice from Heroquest, or the tackle dice from Blood Bowl? Or are they something quite different?

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  56. Someone on my site commented that for $100 you can probably buy the old core book, a bunch of splats, and lunch.

    The phrase from the press release that has me rolling is "quick and easy cleanup". Seriously, when has that ever been a consideration for buying or playing a roleplaying game?

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  57. @BerinKinsman, I think that's meant to be in comparison to a game of the Warhammer minis battle game. Those take a while to clean up from.

    As for myself, well, I don't have the funds to even consider getting into it. Strangely, I am ambivalent -- I see no need for the move, it's a blatant cash grab, the price is overinflated and it heads into 4e territory, but at the same time I love playing with funky dice, I liked the art that I saw and I've never been invested in WFRP. I'd sit down and give it a whirl if I had a chance, but I still think this is a bad move since WFRP 2e wasn't near complete.

    By the way, is anyone else reminded of Dragon Dice? I think Berin mentioned Throwing Stones on the Dire Cafe, too.

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  58. Never mind on the "what are the dice like?" question, as I should have just looked at the WFRP site. Silly me.

    Aside from the bizarre D&D 3e homage in the cover design, I'm actually a bit more intrigued now I've looked at FFG's site.

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  59. http://symptomsofmadness.blogspot.com/2009/08/warhammer-fantasy-roleplay-i-think-ive.html

    I disagree. I think you all should stop crying over change and game on.

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  60. I don't think anyone who's skeptical about WFRP 3e is skeptical about it because it's a boxed set, though. A full-fledged RPG -- any RPG -- in a boxed set is something I'd genuinely cheer, but, from the sounds of it, this will be a very different kind of game and it's that fact that's getting people worried.
    I can get behind this. I think that these past two years are producing a third school of RPGs, and that it's difficult for a lot of people to adjust.

    Oliver- How is this like a boardgame, please? What makes this less of a roleplaying game?

    Ryan- I suppose they feel like they've explored all the ground there was to explore for WFRP2. Well, that and the search for more profit.

    I wonder if they'll eventually do a WH40kRP using this system. I would totally love to play that, especially because Dark Heresy is pretty much dead in the water as far as I understand it. If they do make that I want playable Orks to be possible. Waagh. >,>

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  61. @Rach-

    I think there was yet some ground to cover. There's never been a source book for Elves or Dark Elves, plus we haven't seen much on Lustria, the distant eastern lands like Cathay/Nippon, Araby, Albion, a book on Greenskins (since we got one on Skaven), etc etc. I just think they had some room to grow.

    Now, I can understand the need to make the game their own rather than build on what Green Ronin and Black Industries established, but just as some commentators here abhor the "anything new is surely bad" mentality, I abhor the "anything new is surely good" mentality.

    Like I said, if I find a group that's playing, I'll try it out, but for a $100 buy in, those special dice had better be gold plated or something.

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  62. Hey! WHFRP survived the cold years on the net after GW dropped it and it flourished. The very dedicated fans will keep it alive, like before.

    I am ready to bet money on the fact that the online WHFRP community will prosper from this and that the game will sink like a lead brick.

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  63. Now, I can understand the need to make the game their own rather than build on what Green Ronin and Black Industries established, but just as some commentators here abhor the "anything new is surely bad" mentality, I abhor the "anything new is surely good" mentality.

    Indeed. Corporations depend heavily on neophilia for their profits and it's a vice to which I was very prone myself, when I was young.

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  64. I've had a long and close involvement, indeed love affair with WFRP from its earliest days in 1986. In fact, I fell in love with it just from the ad in Dragon - before the game was even released. To paraphrase the old Schick (or was it Gillette?) commercials, "I loved it so much I wrote books for the company."

    So I looked with interest at the new 3rd edition of the game at GenCon last weekend, both the preview display and watching a demo being played.

    This is not a roleplaying game. Oh, players can add roleplaying to it, just like you can add roleplaying to Monopoly, if you want, but this is not an RPG in the real sense of the word. It's as much a roleplaying game as Mordheim was.

    And the price-point? $100 for a game limited to four players? Insanity. An FFG representative at a seminar at GenCon had the brass to suggest that the GM and players could split the cost. Oh, but if they want new powers and new careers, they have to buy later expansions.

    Like I said: It's Mordheim. Or maybe Talisman or Heroquest. But "WFRP 3" is not a roleplaying game. And I think it's going to be a big bomb for FFG and GW.

    Meanwhile, this grognard is sticking to WFRP 1E, which I am now converting to BRP.

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  65. Of course it's a bomb! This is wrong on so many accounts it's just not even funny. I have my 1st ed, and it have everything a RPG in the Old World need. Crazy, brutal, oddball and fun.

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  66. Hey Anthony,
    Any way you'd be willing to post your WFRP 1E to BRP conversion when it's done? :)

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  67. @Baron Greystone

    Sure, but it'll be quite a while. I done got "the slows." ;-)

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  68. Having actually played WFRP3e now I can say it's nothing like a boardgame other than the fact that FFG gives you a lot of high quality tokens and pieces that make the game a lot easier to run. It's by far my favorite RPG system now.

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  69. Here is, I think, a telling statistic from GenCon this year:

    # of WFRPG 2nd Edition games run: 8
    # of WFRPG 3rd Edition games run: 0

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  70. @ Anthony
    So, how you doing on the WFRP 1E to BRP conversion? :)

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  71. Typical of lazy me, I seem not to have done a thing in quite a while... o_0

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  72. @Paul Thanks for sharing this anecdotal statistic. "Color me unsurprised" is how one of my players put it.

    My opinions and attitude about the release of WFRP 3e have greatly moderated since FFG announced WFRP 3e, though I'm still unhappy. I'm happy with my well stocked 2e library and selection of 1e pieces (original purchases), but there were so many more places FFG could have gone with 2e in source/splat books. FFG could have fed the WFRP 2e engine for some time.

    We will likely never know the true investment and return, or lack of, WFRP 3e provides FFG. Like many game companies, FFG holds their cards close. Hey, I'm a capitalist (unashamed one) and risk taking is part of the game, no pun intended. I think FFG calculated the risk for 2 reasons:

    1. WH40K RPG was more appealing a franchise than the Fantasy line.

    2. Licensing of Intellectual Property across business units and relationships. Reflection on WotC and D&D 4e provides some insight (as tangentially debated on this thread): for WotC, D&D 4e set out to reclaim IP and renegotiate their position on the OGL. Looking past the internet flame war (of which I participated) let me see larger machinations in play. I believe FFG had to do the same with WFRP. The folding of BI, GW licensing to Green Ronin (and BI) fed a crucible that set a direction and FFG went to a safe place: board games.

    However, I still feel greatly cheated by GW and FFG for failing to take the WFRP 2e franchise to a much more successful end.

    I'll probably repost this comment on my blog as I have not publicly moderated my position on this topic.

    Thanks for sharing. Wish I could have played in some of those games at GenCon.

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