Tuesday, June 13, 2006


So there's nothing to shut up a blog like a promise to write something. No, really. All you have to say is "Starting Monday, I'll be exposing the graft and corruption in the processed cheese industry" and it will be even-money that not only Monday will pass without an entry, but Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well.

So too, with my off-hand comment that I would talk about my experience GMing Warhammer. Since that was "next on the pile" I put other things aside, intending to talk about it, and instead did other thing like coming down with a cold and updating my character in Guild Wars.

So, Warhammer Fantasty Roleplay (WFRP). Almost a year ago, now, a former WotC executive reviewed the game online, saying generally nice things, but making the arguement that it worked because of what it took from/shared with D20 D&D. Fans of WFRP were deeply upset because the new game had nothing to do with D20 D&D, in their learned opinions. And they were right - WFRP spurred off the game design evolutionary tree years ago, and a closer relation is good old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Sure, the WFRP dwarf has "Grudge-Born Fury" instead of a mere "+1 against orcs and goblins", but you can see the connections and shared ancestors.

Anyway, the upshot of all this huggamugga was that I got interested in WFRP again and picked up a copy, enjoying what was similar to old school AD&D (low rolls good in combat), and what was alternative to the original (a skill system) and what was just funky (you can be a fighter or a cleric, but you also get to be a rat-catcher, a charcoal-burner, or a camp follower). And when our Thursday night group decided to take a break from Eberron, I volunteered to run the canned adventure in the book.

And it was pretty amusing. We had a dwarf burgher, his dwarf bodyguard, a sexually ambivalent human camp follower, and an elven rogue (the latter had longbow skills but could not afford a longbow right off the bat).And they were mired in the little town that was attacked by mutants (cries of "Gamma World" from the table - no, these were other mutants - chaos mutants) and have decided they will help the people relocate to a nearby big city (everything is named in funky Germanano-English, and I don't have the book at hand to confirm the names). There was much attempts by the players to think in d20 methods (sorry, no five-foot adjustments in this game), and keeping the players who had no real combat skills (camp follower) engaged in the combat (much looting occurred).

And being the first time out of the gate, there were some screwups on my part. I forgot to subtract the toughness bonus from the damage done to the mutants, and to add 1d10 to the missile weapon damage. And it is clear that WFRP combat is not D&D combat - your armor does not affect your attacker's ability to hit - it only reduces damage. Further, the ability to parry or dodge is much more important to the character desiring survivability (My mutants neglected to do this, with poor results). The parry and dodge mechanics are such that it is effectively giving the entire party variable-strength cloaks of displacement, a tactic we had used with irritating efficiency in our Eberron campaign.

So was it fun? Yeah, pretty much. I feel rusty as all get-out We'll run the rest of the original adventure (it is a short one) this week, and then decide if we press on or return to the familiar confines of D&D. But I promise you this - I promise to refuse to promise that I will tell you more about it.


More later (about other stuff),