Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Superhero RPG sale at DTRPG

 I just saw that DTRPG is having a superhero RPG sale all week long and some of the discounts are pretty hefty. We live a golden age of supers RPGs with more options than ever before and there are a lot of interesting new takes on the genre so it's worth a stroll through their selection to see if something catches your eye. 

Anyway, just a heads up!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Trying Out WFRP 2E


Over a prior weekend we were going to be short a couple of players so I pushed back the next session of Deadlands. The next one will be the finale of the Perdition Elections arc - if you've played The Flood you probably know - and since I had full attendance for the first two parts I wanted to maintain that for the big finish. This meant that we had an opening to try something like we did with Marvel a few weeks ago and with a bit of a fantasy itch we decided to try Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

I say "try" but I've run it before and run and played 1st edition going back to the 80's - it's just been awhile. WFRP is up to a 4th edition now but I don't own it and was more inclined to run the one I have a bunch of books for already than start diving into the latest version. It may have been ten years since I ran it last for the apprentices and it's never really been a thing for my current group of players so it was fresh territory for us.

I planned on running the starter adventure in the back of the core rulebook as it's pretty good for this kind of thing and has the bonus of leading into the first published adventure if you want to go that route. I'm not planning too far ahead but one of the reasons we are doing these little one or two-offs is to try out things we might play after Deadlands wraps up. If we decided to go with WFRP then having that link to a potential campaign is handy. 

So we had 3 characters rolled up:

  • Grognard Mike made a Dwarf Soldier - this was by far the most capable fighter in the group with some armor and a big axe.
  • Variable Dave ended up with a Halfling Entertainer - this is potentially a hilarious character with strong Blather and Public Speaking skills which could let him talk people into damn near anything.
  • Next-Gen Patty came out of it with an Elven Apprentice Wizard which is a fairly rare thing in my experience for a starting WFRP campaign. We dug into the magic rules to make sure we were doing things right and he was pretty happy with his options for "Petty Magic".
Given the random nature of character creation this was actually a pretty impressive party. A fighter, a face, and a wizard is a good mix. I gave a general primer on the world while pointing to the map hanging on my wall and we have a party on their way to the town of Untergard shortly after a major chaos invasion of the Empire and a battle at the town. 

I wanted to remind us all that combat in this system is not like D&D so along the way to Untergard our party encountered 3 optimistic goblins and a fight was on. This fight went on for 7 rounds as there is a lot of "missing" in WFRP fights. Starting characters typically have a 20 to 30-something percent chance to hit and though there are ways to boost that by 10 or 20 points it's still tricky. That said anything that connects can get nasty quick. A typical weapon will do a d10 +3 or 4 points.  Everything has a Toughness number that is effectively damage resistance and armor is added to this (also absorbing damage) which will end up stopping 3-4 points for most characters. That means most of your effective damage comes from that d10 roll. Characters have a variable number of Wounds but it's typically about 10 so you can take 1 or 2 hits before it gets bad. 

It gets bad once you run out of wounds as at that point you start taking criticals which are resolved on a  set of charts based on hit location. There are ten possible results on each one ranging from very minor like a penalty on rolls for a round on up through losing a limb, and then finishing up at "dead" in whatever way the player or GM wants to describe. 

On a final note that d10 roll explodes on a "10" so a fluke set of rolls can absolutely destroy a character in one attack. Warhammer adventures typically do not include clearing a large dungeon full of monsters and this combat system shows why.

The fight against the goblins gave us a good introduction with magic, missile, and melee combat all happening. Out of the PC's only the halfling took a critical and he was just bonked on the head and knocked down, nothing too serious. Test fight over the party proceeded into town. 

I don't really want to spell out how the starter scenario goes in detail but there is some NPC interaction and then an attack on the war-ruined town by some Beastmen-type enemies. There's more beyond that but we did not have time to finish out the rest of the story but hopefully we will get to do that soon. 

It's a fun, fairly gritty system that gets more interesting as you gain more abilities from Talents and Magic and also as your skills improve and you hit more than half of the time. I'm not sure where it will end up in our survey of possible games but my players seemed to like it and that's what counts the most.