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Chapien

Warhammer RPG (WFRP) vs. D&D

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I have read the rules to both Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) and Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and have been wondering which would be better for me to play. WFRP does have a great setting, BUT you don't get to choose your class (randomly rolled). D&D leaves all the choices to you, BUT I do not like this new 4e. What do others think?

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Either one is easily adapted to Rolemaster....

 

 

Look more at the setting and less at the mechanics. You and your players will all be more happy. Also do not give in and buy the new D&D. The WoTC Nazis will not kick in your door and arrest you for playing 3.5.

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It's your game, the gaming police won't bust down the door and take away your dice if you decide to allow choosing the character's class for WFRP. ::D:

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I like the WHFRP personally. I like the system a lot more than 3.5 mainly because it has two versions in the book, streamlined and detailed. You can also choose your own classes if you want to. Don't have my copy on hand but it says something along the lines of "Players may choose their own classes if they want to." I actually like playing games where I don't know who I am going to be. But again this is all my opinion.

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I am partial to WFRP. First let me preface this by saying I don't use the WFRP setting, nor do I use any D&D settings. WFRP mechanics are just as usable in another setting as D&D is. Most of my experience is with 1st edition, though I've read over 2nd edition quite a few times, and I like the changes. My best friend raves about 2nd edition over 1st, and he's the one that convinced me to try the system in the first place.

 

First off, let me adress the random thing. You don't have to use the random class generation, however, you'll typically find if you don't, that your players will all pick the same 3-4 starting careers because they'll be trying to pick careers that they feel give them an advantage. Starting careers are just that - starting careers - it only takes a 100 xp to go on to another career, and within a short time, everyone usually finds their PCs to their liking anyway. A good friend of mine complained a lot when I made them roll randomly, and he first got a beggar as his first WFRP PC - now years after that campiagn is done, that's still his all-time favorite RPG PC. Personally, what I do now is I have 4-6 classes that a new PC can choose from, or let them roll 3-4 times and pick one of those. If they generate a PC that is a relative of a current PC/NPC, I let them pick a class that makes sense to that background.

 

I like WFRP for a variety of reasons:

- combat is deadly. High power PCs excel in combat not because they can wade in and withstand tons of hits, but because they can hit first and more often. Damage stays relatively the same between starting PCs and Multi-career ones doing approximately the same amount of damage to opponents as well. That means a horde of orcs is still a challenge to a party, regardless of power. To up a challenge, up the number of combatants.

 

- I personally think the combat system is easier to teach new players than the d20 system, as there is only d100s and d10s to deal with for hits and damage, and the target numbers stay relatively the same for a given character.

 

- Fate points are a better system of dealing with PC death than Resurrection spells are, IMO

 

- the combat and skill system is relatively easy to memorize. There aren't a lot of special rules.

 

- I like the magic system better. It's powerful, yet dangerous to use. That fits my perceptions of magic better.

 

- I can generate a reasonably balanced WFRP NPC, even a high powered one, on the fly, in far less time than I can do a D&D one. For most combats you can generate a fully effective fighter by simply assigning about a half dozen stats, and maybe a couple of special skills. Yes, you can do that in D&D, too, but if you then later have to go back and flesh that NPC out, you'll probably have a harder time finding a valid build for that character than in WFRP. There is a reason that there are far more character generator programs for D&D than there is for WFRP. and it's not just their relative popularity.

 

D&D has a huge advantage in the sheer amount of material available for it - well, if you play 3.5 that is. 4.0 won't have that advantage back for at least 6 months. The disadvantage of having all that material available is that if you're not careful in how you incorporate it into your campaign, you can find something that breaks your campaign, or you can spend hours looking for the right thing. The lesser amount of material available for WFRP isn't really a hinderance - under first edition, the only two things I really wanted more of were careers and monsters, and they've expanded on that quite nicely in 2nd edition.

 

The clincher for me was that combat was deadly even for the most experienced PC. That tends to lead PCs to try non-combat solutions more often, because they don't feel invulnerable. To accomplish the same thing in D&D, I sometimes have to make obviously overwhelming superior forces to try and encourage non-combat solutions, only to find myself being accused of railroading, when all I really want is for the PCs to try talking first. The WFRP combat rules encourage that on their own.

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Yes, WFRP can be used to convince players to avoid combat more. As for not using the Old World setting for WFRP, I am not sure if it would work that good as the game rules are built arouns the Old World.

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Yes, WFRP can be used to convince players to avoid combat more. As for not using the Old World setting for WFRP, I am not sure if it would work that good as the game rules are built arouns the Old World.

 

I agree with this. I also would say the magic system is VERY flavorful to the Warhammer setting, so it may not float all boats. More akin to Howard or Moorcock than Tolkien.

 

While your at it, pick up Dark Heresy too. Basically WHFRPG in the 40K SF setting...

 

Damon.

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As for not using the Old World setting for WFRP, I am not sure if it would work that good as the game rules are built arouns the Old World.

Works just fine. I've run several 1st ed WFRP campaigns in my homebrew world of Iskitaan for a grand total of about 6-7 years over all. I haven't done so with 2nd ed yet, will be doing that later this year or early next year.

 

There are some things that require tweaking and house rules, yes, but for my campaign world, there are not nearly as many tweaks and house rules as D&D requires. And I've run that campaign world under AD&D, WFRP 1st Ed and D&D 3.0/3.5. I'm taking it back to WFRP 2nd Ed next time, and it's staying there. My best friend has run two different campaign worlds under WFRP - one under 1st ed, and one under 2nd ed.

 

Yes, there are a lot of settings you would have a hard time tweaking to run under the WFRP rules. Almost any of the high magic D&D ones come to mind. Yes, WFRP has guns, but they aren't so abundant that you can't remove them easily. While the WFRP setting itself is rather dark and grim, there aren't a lot of rules tied to that. My Iskitaan campaign isn't that dark at all. Most of the changes I've had to make are more ones related to names - I just substitute my own campaign names for WFRP specific ones. That goes for careers, monsters, even the gods.

 

Now, that's my campaign world. There are some things about Iskitaan that fit better with the WFRP concepts than D&D - for example, magic is rare, powerful and dangerous if used improperly. Try and pull that off with D&D, where multiple classes have access to magic, there is no inherent danger in using most magic, and low-level spells and magic items are abundant. Try taking on some of the more challenging monsters in the Monster Manual without having access to what WotC says is an appropriate amount of equipment. You'll have a hard time for a lot of those monsters.

 

So the question on whether you can pull the WFRP rules from the setting really depends on what you're looking for in a setting. Much of the Old World matches my setting, more so than D&D. I wouldn't really say that the rules are tied to the Old World, only that they come from a different base concept. Some campaigns are definitely more suited to D&D - Forgotten Realms is one - it would be virtually impossible to retain the flavor of the Realms trying to use the WFRP rule set, simply because they come from different design philosophies.

 

One of the mental exercises I do these days now that I'm pretty familiar with both systems is when I read a fantasy book, I try and picture which RPG system would better suit the setting. While most could be done with either, in most cases, one of the systems is a closer fit to begin with, and would require the less tweaking.

 

Ranzadule is right - you should consider what setting you're wanting to use, because that will be a driving factor in which system will work better.

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You could wait and see how the 4th edition plays; by all accounts the streamlining of the system makes it closer to Savage Worlds anyway.

 

If gunpowder is important in your setting, and with your group, use WHFRP, or Savage Worlds. D&D was never really meant to be muddied by gunpowder, at least according to a man named Gygax.

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You know, the other side of the coin, that none of us have mentioned yet - what are you going to be able to get people to play?

 

I switched my Iskitaan campaign from WFRP to d20 when I moved because I couldn't find anyone willing to play with an unfamiliar system, campaign and GM. People wanted at least one of those three things to be familiar to them. Now that I've got somewhat of an established reputation again, I'm not going to have any problem finding players, regardless of system.

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If you are talking second edition WHFRP. Its excellent. but a lot of work to convert to whatever campaign you want. I never really like the campaign Fantasy world. I'll just be honest..

 

d20 regardless of what edition you play is good because you can always find players. Fairly straight forward.. It has moved more to a miniatures rules set.. than a role playing game.

 

Savage Worlds my choice, is sort of a mix between the two. and easy for me to convert..

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Weigh all this against the point of roleplaying: have fun. Period. I think you've got enough tips to go on, systems to explore, and plenty of folks here who can explain the differences between the systems.

 

You should also consider one huge factor: online forums for these games. I've found that the Savage Worlds community is extremely helpful and welcoming to new players, as I'm a new player myself.

 

The WHFRP is pretty good to, from reading and participating.

 

I'm not on the D&D/Hasbro forums, so I can't speak about them. Maybe others can share their experiences with them.

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