Critical Hits

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.

8 comments to “Critical Hits”

  1. I have only glanced through them since I am at work, but so far I like what I see.

  2. Thank you for your work on the Crit tables and the “unlimited healing” relating to magic. Both solving problems I have had since reading through the books. I will probably delay starting my Campaign until these crit charts are complete. Again, thanks for your time and effort.

  3. Very visceral Chuck! I can’t help wondering if the low results are somewhat too damaging. I think I would suffer from losing a portion of hair and scalp, for example. Perhaps more stinging slaps with the flat of the blade are required before actual cuts are made?

    That said, love the descriptions. Particularly fond of the bladder damage for some reason. Youch!

  4. Dave, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have a second look at the lower crits and maybe adjust the effects so that they’re a bit less … permanent.

    Ron and Davis, I very much appreciate the feedback. Hopefully the process will speed up now that I have a template, but no promises. That said, work is progressing on the Blunt tables even as we speak!

  5. Okay, I’ve gone through and adjusted some of the lower criticals and re-sorted some others, so there should be a smoother scaling of effects with less permanent damage/lethality at the lower levels. The new pdf is available for download.

  6. Comment posted! 🙂

    This time I found the discussion on the BI forums:

  7. Chuck, this is just what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been running WFRP2 for several months now and bought the severely dissappointing GMpack on Monday. The GM screen is so out of date I decided to create my own. Your crit charts will be resplendent on their in all their glory; they’re fantastic!

    Keep up the good work!

  8. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the site! When you finish your GM screen, please email me a picture.

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