Recently my RPG interests have been consumed by Fantasy Flight Games’ re-imagining of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The setting which has become known as Warhammer Fantasy has always been one of my favorite “Worlds” in which to Roleplay due to its long and storied background. Warhammer has been around since the very late 70’s / early 80’s (my date facts are never 100% accurate) and the depth of content has grown more vast with each passing decade. This setting has seen many different imaginings over the years and is most noted as the backdrop for one of the world’s most famous tabletop miniatures battle game “Warhammer Fantasy Battles” which is now amazingly in its 8th edition.
However this is just a portion of what is offered by this fantastic setting, the RPG has now gone through 2 editions and is currently in its 3rd edtion. This 3e or Fantasy Roleplay as I like to call it (due to it’s complete dominance of Fantasy RPG systems as far as my tastes are concerned) has earned very high accolades from me and will continue to do so as long as Fantasy Flight Games continues to produce a fantastic product.
This game has gotten some flak from the RPG community as a whole due to its mechanical approach. Many Roleplayer’s are used to the d20 mechanic and are puzzled by the more story driven nature of Fantasy Roleplay. When compared to D&D I find the differences to be many and varied. D&D traditionally has been created as a system for combat resolution with skill resolution built in over time and all of the various versions of D&D have done a fairly good job at delivering in that respect. However it has always taken a special Narrator — at least as my experience has lead me to believe — to really wring story out of the game of D&D
Fantasy Roleplay on the other hand seems to have been designed with story firmly in the developers minds from stage one. And they do a damn good job of producing a game that is A) unique, well as unique as you can be these days, B) and innovative, again this only goes as far as you’re willing to take it. The cards and chits that are “integral” to the Fantasy Roleplay experience also have “traditional” roleplayer’s flaming it endlessly. I think this is just one of those “Lets be afraid of / shun the new kid” mentalities as most of the complainers have not set ass down at table long enough to get the breadth of experiences offered by Fantasy Roleplay.
I’ll get into the meat of the mechanics and setting in later posts however I just want to state here that the card based system, apart from requiring the organizational skills of a Military Quartermaster, simplifies rules look up very effectively spreading the ownness between the Players and Narrator. The dice system is extremely fitting for Fantasy RPG’s in general and gives a feeling of divining the bones.
Fantasy Roleplay has impressed me so much that I’m hereby committed to flesh out the system and setting. The information can be used as is or can be juggled around and melded with the only WHFRP 3e podcast on the web ~ The Reckless Dice Podcast.