martedì 26 marzo 2019

Thoughts on (#1): Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition

I played Warhammer 1st edition for many years. I loved everything about it: the setting, the amazing artwork, the simple rules, the euro-renaissance look, Chaos, the chance to have players start as common folk (rat catchers!), the funny and terse writing. Middenhein is one of the best city systems ever. Power Behind the Throne, in my humble opinion, the best city adventure ever.

I bought the second edition and played some years more. I was glad to have new material. Didn't care much for the new rules and magic system. Didn't care either for most of the new artwork. You know: Warhammer RPG identified so strongly with its illustrations ... John Blanche, Dave Adrews, Will Rees, Ian Miller, etc. They pushed you inside a very different vision of Fantasy: mangy individuals dressed in rags, cities where roofs touched each other, rivers that looked like sewers, demons that were more nightmares than hulking threats ...

Adrian Smith - Realms of Chaos

All these good things, this atmosphere, was already going away through the 2nd edition. But it was still tolerable, even if many books were just too long while saying too little (filler, filler, filler) and the new adventures almost amateurish.

I skipped the 3rd edition entirely. Don't really care for RPG-boardgame hybrids.

Had the chance to skim through a physical copy of the fourth the other day, at my local store. I felt a little like vomiting. Cubicle 7 has this power of using the same style of artwork for all of his games: you have Tolkien and Lone Wolf looking the same (no Gary Chalk? That's murder!). Now you have Warhammer in the exact same palette but with a disreputable amount of D&D 3 - 4 - 5 thrown in. You know ... those things that sell ...
Everyone has big muscles. There are no more commoners. You're a rat catcher? You're probably a hulk too. Everything is kind of greyish, greenish, maroonish and absolutely devoid of magic, dynamism or atmosphere. Monsters are unrecognazible (just use the 3.5 Monster Manual).

idontknowwho - WFRP 4th edition

I don't think, as many say, that this is the effect of Fantasy Battle ichoring its venom on the RPG. It's more of a cultural thing. It's just massification. Let's print products with little personality, so they're going to be good for most of the people. It's like Disney - Marvel - Lucasfilm.

Sometimes I eat at fast-foods. I just don't want to dwell there for a three-years campaign. My fault. We'll se what they do with the Enemy Whithin Reloaded. I probably won't be there to know. 

2 commenti:

  1. I only discovered WFRP 1st edition last year thanks to I bought an old copy of the book on eBay, I am really stoked to try it out with my group!

  2. What a wonderful discovery, never too late to try a classic! My advice, if you have the budget, is to jump right in The Enemy Within Campaign. The first adventure is Shadows over Bogenhafen, a masterpiece of city investigation with a somewhat Call of Cthulish feel. If prices are too steep you could always buy (or look for) the pdfs, Cubicle 7 has published them all. The system is very smooth and doesn't really need the additional chrome added by the second edition. Have fun and keep me posted on the progress!