01 March 2011

Taking Over The World (One City At A Time)

I recently had my buddies over for the weekend + Monday, since they weren't doing anything and neither was I. My girlfriend didn't like it, but I can't say no like that to my friends. They don't really "think" about these sorts of things, and they're not very good at thinking things through, so it's usually my job to facilitate the non-destruction of things that are around me.

But I digress.

We had to make a choice between Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Aberrant, and so we rolled some dice, since none of us were feeling particularly decisive. It happens more often than not, sometimes. We rolled for WFRP, setting me up as the GM for the night.

They rolled up a Dwarf Militiaman, a Halfling Agitator, and a Human Burgher, and after perusing the career paths and various charts and minutia that entails, they decided that they would like to take over the Empire. Only one of my friends is an actual Warhammer buff, so we had to explain to the rest of them what, exactly, the Empire would do to three regular joes who decided to wreak havoc on the armed forces of the Empire. This includes mention of Karl Franz's griffon mount, and the multitudes of Knights of the Blazing Sun. We didn't need to get into the wizards, bright or otherwise, before they revised their idea to carving out a peice of Kislev for themselves.

I explained about how Kislevites are even tougher, since they're more or less the first line of defense against the northern wastes, but our Agitator decided that straight military might was out. They'd become crime lords in a smaller town in Kislev, and then, as they put it, "spread the seeds of their corruption" to other cities. I can hardly say no to that, and I really can't think of an idea that it wouldn't at least partially work, so I put on my GM hat and we start playing.

I have to say, I'm lucky to have the players I do- I hear about a lot of conflict between people who want to fight for the sake of fighting, and people who want to do nothing but talk to people, but it's nice to have a group of players who not only want to do things other than kill monster, get loot, repeat, but want to do really, really interesting things like rule a parcel of people with subtle, indirect methods.

There's no telling how far they'll get, but that's never stopped them before. The only thing left is to play it out and see how it works.

Some quick thoughts:

-The Warhammer system is pretty difficult to get started with, which is kind of odd considering how very easy it is to get killed.
-The sort of style it seems to promote is that of intelligent play, which is cool. People are fragile, so you need to fight dirty if you fight at all, otherwise the fairly potent real-life punishment of rolling 30 dice rolls to get a new character has to be incurred. With random careers at least it's interesting, but hey.
-The character classes are all over the place. On one side, you have things like the Pit Fighter and Apprentice Wizard that everybody wants, but in this last game, two players rolled a Burgher and an Agitator. I was hoping to see a Rat Catcher or Charcoal Burner, but better luck next time.
-I'm really digging the uneven "power scales" in character classes. Not everybody's going to be kicking ass and taking names.
-The setting really resonates even with people that haven't played it before. Why is it so interesting?
-People miss a lot when fighting, leading to weapons with a long reload time being suitable for one shot and then you drop it in favor of something else.
-The initiative system seems funny. +1d10 to stats ranging 20-30 points in difference means that it usually goes in straight initiate order when fighting.


  1. A common house rule for initiative (and one that was implemented officially in the Dark Heresy 40K RPG) is to roll 1d10 + the PC's "Agilty Bonus" of 10% (round down) of Ag. So a Ag 44 PC rolls 1d10 + 4 for initiative.

  2. Sounds like a reasonable house rule to me. I don't know that the way initiative is written in WFRP is necessarily bad since it makes sense that the fastest guy goes first, but that house rule is nice.

    I'll keep it in mind. :)