Archive for April, 2006


Critical Hits

Friday, April 21st, 2006

The critical hit system for WFRP v1 was a major part of what initially drew me to the game. Instead of dry, mechanical descriptions of combat wounds and kills we are presented with graphic depictions of blood and gore, heads lopping off and rolling 2d6 feet away, ruined limbs hanging limply from their sockets, and instantaneous death from shock and blood loss. This is exactly what makes for grim and gritty combat, and goes a long way to explain why fights in Warhammer simply “feel” different from other RPGs. Hogshead expanded on the original tables with new ones, containing effects specifically tailored to the type of weapon used. No longer did arrows or bolts yield crush-type criticals. And finally, we were given critical effects arising from energy damage.

Imaginative criticals also offer a new avenue for the expenditure of precious Fate Points: a player is just as likely to spend a Fate Point to avoid the loss of a limb (especially if such a loss translates into permanent reductions in his character’s statistics) as to avoid death. Indeed, it is only when the well of Fate runs dry that combat becomes truly interesting.

To this end, I have embarked upon a project of creating new Critical Hit tables for v2 in the Hogshead vein. These new tables (the first set of which are for bladed weapons), though informed by the old ones, are my own creation, and may be distributed freely. The text and mechanics have been designed specifically for WFRP v2 and so follow the guidelines established in the rulebook. I hope that the WFRP community will assist in their creation; I consider these tables a work-in-progress and encourage comments, criticisms, and suggestions.

I make no apologies for the blood and gore; combat is a dangerous and messy endeavor, especially in WFRP. It is my hope that these new tables will provide further justification for PCs to avoid combat and solve their problems through different avenues. After all, WFRP is foremost a role-playing game, and combat should never be a first resort.

Click here to find out why.