Combat example

Cubicle 7 // 2018
OldPlayer
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:03 am

Orin J. wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:57 pm
mormegil wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:08 am
Just to add my 2 cents. I see no problem concerning snowball effect. 90% of the time is taking the player's side and the rest 10% the players have several options to change it. The way I say it, most important thing is the player's narrative and the game is spot-on on this, along with some serious challenges to the players health.
so it's not challenging to the players, but there's a risk? that's not a good dynamic. this is why i hate the "player's narrative" argument, it leads inexorably to removing the system itself in favor of just giving the players what they want and removed the rewarding feeling of overcoming a challenge. that overcoming the odds has been key to the warhammer setting since it's inception, and removing what makes WFRP unique isn't beneficial. if you don't like what made the warhammer world interesting to play in you should reassess what you want out of WFRP or at least keep silent and transfer adventures and any other thing you deem worth to the homebrew you like. At least if you really love the franchise.
“hate”, “keep silent” (i.e stfup....), last response to me was “leave” .... 😳

What Mormegil writes makes perfect sense i.e mostly the PCs in RPGs do not die in every encounter. It doesn’t meanthe encounters do not feel challenging. That part is all down to the GM and the game’s environement.
Graak
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:50 pm

easl wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:50 pm

Thanks OldPlayer. Would you consider, after your next play session, writing up here a summary of one of the party's combat scenes? I greatly appreciated CapnZapp's write-up. It illustrated very well his concern with the bestiary section. (Though speaking only for myself, it didn't do much in the way of convincing me the core mechanics were horribly broken).
Yes, I would appreciate it too, please.
Karanthir
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:30 am

OldPlayer wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:31 am
Ok, read this you lazy GMs 😀 complaining on the bestiary:

https://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2020/01/ ... s.html?m=1
Except this isn't really advice for lazy GMs - it's justification for lazy games design (framed as advice for "lazy" GMs). This is kind of a separate topic, so I'll just summarise.

WFRP4 isn't the only game guilty of this, but it's not the 80s (or even 90s) any more - the GM shouldn't have to fill in gaps left by the games designers. The core rules of a game should present the GM with everything they need to run a game with minimal effort (since so much effort goes in to running a session anyway, even when using a pre-written adventure). Sure, the GM should be able to modify what is in the core rules to suit their own needs, but that's something for more experienced GMs to do. The core rules should assume that the GM is running a game for the first time and give them what they need to do that. At worst, this "advice" should have been printed in the book at the beginning of the bestiary (pointing out to GMs that they need to do this in sidebars without then providing examples is lazy). Even better would be properly statted out creatures with skills/talents/traits/career levels/whatever else they need to present a challenge to Level 1 PCs. The idea of a "base level Troll" (to use the example from the blog) doesn't cut it either (especially if it has a trait it can't even use with its stats). It's true, few humans have 30 in all stats and no skills. The PCs even at Level 1 certainly don't, so why should the monsters? If the GM has to do all this for every creature they want in an encounter, it quickly gets out of hand and will discourage (especially inexperienced) GMs from creating their own adventures. This problem is only compounded by the lack of introductory adventure in the rulebook (the only edition of WFRP not to have one, incidentally).
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totsuzenheni
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OldPlayer wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:31 am
Ok, read this you lazy GMs 😀 complaining on the bestiary:

https://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2020/01/ ... s.html?m=1
To quote some of the comments in that post:
Matt23 January 2020 at 10:07

This should have been made MUCH clearer and stated much more directly in the book. Because as it stands now, it's super easy to miss and the relevant info is spread through various passages. :-/

Matt23 January 2020 at 10:09

It's also made out to be "optional", even if you read the box.

Andy Law23 January 2020 at 10:48

Agreed, it’s why I wrote this post.
Plageman23 January 2020 at 10:33

My issue with Traits is the same as way back when D&D 3.0 was released. When you have a list of traits/feats/talents you can't always remember what each of them do and have to keep a list nearby and consult it regularly which slow down the game.
BTW in WFRP2 there was a number upgrade packages which were quite useful for quick npc building.

Andy Law23 January 2020 at 11:08

In short: I agree completely. I did write a good chunk of WFRP2’s bestiary entries, after all, starting with the Bestiary goodies in the WFRP Companion.
BTW, does anyone know why Andy Law quit Cubicle 7 yet?
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totsuzenheni
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I'm not against having a system for building NPCs from scratch (with both 'quick' and 'full' variants) at all, and indeed i'd very much like one, but it seems to me that this would be quite a substantial volume that wouldn't fit into the core rule book. It seems to me that by trying to squeeze such a system into the core rule book they left out certain things, such as the system part. I think it might have been better to have some generic NPCs in the core rule book, or perhaps a more thorough system for a smaller selection of NPC types.
mormegil
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:48 am

Orin J. wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:57 pm
mormegil wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:08 am
Just to add my 2 cents. I see no problem concerning snowball effect. 90% of the time is taking the player's side and the rest 10% the players have several options to change it. The way I say it, most important thing is the player's narrative and the game is spot-on on this, along with some serious challenges to the players health.
so it's not challenging to the players, but there's a risk? that's not a good dynamic. this is why i hate the "player's narrative" argument, it leads inexorably to removing the system itself in favor of just giving the players what they want and removed the rewarding feeling of overcoming a challenge. that overcoming the odds has been key to the warhammer setting since it's inception, and removing what makes WFRP unique isn't beneficial. if you don't like what made the warhammer world interesting to play in you should reassess what you want out of WFRP or at least keep silent and transfer adventures and any other thing you deem worth to the homebrew you like. At least if you really love the franchise.
Ok now we are talking honestly. The game is not good enough due to preference. So please make me understand why instead of playing in one of the previous editions which agree with your style, you continuously grumble about the edition. Because if you check the posts, the first thing that occurs to any new post is a bash to the edition.

Now is it healthy?
OldPlayer
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:03 am

Karanthir wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:42 am
OldPlayer wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:31 am
Ok, read this you lazy GMs 😀 complaining on the bestiary:

https://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2020/01/ ... s.html?m=1
Except this isn't really advice for lazy GMs - it's justification for lazy games design (framed as advice for "lazy" GMs). This is kind of a separate topic, so I'll just summarise.

WFRP4 isn't the only game guilty of this, but it's not the 80s (or even 90s) any more - the GM shouldn't have to fill in gaps left by the games designers. The core rules of a game should present the GM with everything they need to run a game with minimal effort (since so much effort goes in to running a session anyway, even when using a pre-written adventure). Sure, the GM should be able to modify what is in the core rules to suit their own needs, but that's something for more experienced GMs to do. The core rules should assume that the GM is running a game for the first time and give them what they need to do that. At worst, this "advice" should have been printed in the book at the beginning of the bestiary (pointing out to GMs that they need to do this in sidebars without then providing examples is lazy). Even better would be properly statted out creatures with skills/talents/traits/career levels/whatever else they need to present a challenge to Level 1 PCs. The idea of a "base level Troll" (to use the example from the blog) doesn't cut it either (especially if it has a trait it can't even use with its stats). It's true, few humans have 30 in all stats and no skills. The PCs even at Level 1 certainly don't, so why should the monsters? If the GM has to do all this for every creature they want in an encounter, it quickly gets out of hand and will discourage (especially inexperienced) GMs from creating their own adventures. This problem is only compounded by the lack of introductory adventure in the rulebook (the only edition of WFRP not to have one, incidentally).
Fair comment regarding less experienced GMs and the need to have some intuition about how to set the level correctly and lack of guidance.

You don’t have to do it in details for all creatures. Just the special ones in my experience.
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Orin J.
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mormegil wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:12 am
Orin J. wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:57 pm
mormegil wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:08 am
Just to add my 2 cents. I see no problem concerning snowball effect. 90% of the time is taking the player's side and the rest 10% the players have several options to change it. The way I say it, most important thing is the player's narrative and the game is spot-on on this, along with some serious challenges to the players health.
so it's not challenging to the players, but there's a risk? that's not a good dynamic. this is why i hate the "player's narrative" argument, it leads inexorably to removing the system itself in favor of just giving the players what they want and removed the rewarding feeling of overcoming a challenge. that overcoming the odds has been key to the warhammer setting since it's inception, and removing what makes WFRP unique isn't beneficial. if you don't like what made the warhammer world interesting to play in you should reassess what you want out of WFRP or at least keep silent and transfer adventures and any other thing you deem worth to the homebrew you like. At least if you really love the franchise.
Ok now we are talking honestly. The game is not good enough due to preference. So please make me understand why instead of playing in one of the previous editions which agree with your style, you continuously grumble about the edition. Because if you check the posts, the first thing that occurs to any new post is a bash to the edition.

Now is it healthy?
you're really not able to tell i threw your argument back in your face because it was rude, are you? fine, whatever. don't attack the person complaining because "i think it's fine" because you don't know what's going on at their table.

i mean seriously, i copied it verbatim. d'you people just not remember your own words?
easl
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:04 pm

Karanthir wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:42 am
At worst, this "advice" should have been printed in the book at the beginning of the bestiary
The first paragraph of the bestiary describes the 'build from starter example' approach.
From Andy Law's post it sounds to me like the 'toolbox' approach they took was fully intended, they had specific reasons for doing it (whether one agrees with them or not), and thus this approach was not simply 'laziness' as you say. However it also sounds like he had a much bigger description of how to do critter builds planned, and it got cut for space reasons.
If the GM has to do all this for every creature they want in an encounter, it quickly gets out of hand and will discourage (especially inexperienced) GMs from creating their own adventures. This problem is only compounded by the lack of introductory adventure in the rulebook (the only edition of WFRP not to have one, incidentally).
I definitely would've paid an extra couple bucks for an extra 50-100 pages of 'how to build critters', extra critters, and an adventure. But, C7 has put 'Night of Blood' and 'If Looks Could Kill' out for free. That seems a very reasonable make-up to me. Both have numerous monster stat blocks. And arguably, two free adventures packaged separately is better than one packaged with the book.
Karanthir
Posts: 116
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OldPlayer wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:24 am
Fair comment regarding less experienced GMs and the need to have some intuition about how to set the level correctly and lack of guidance.

You don’t have to do it in details for all creatures. Just the special ones in my experience.
If you're doing guidance, yeah, just a few examples is fine. If you go for fully statting everything out (beyond "base level", whatever that means), you really have to do all or nothing.
easl wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:20 pm
I definitely would've paid an extra couple bucks for an extra 50-100 pages of 'how to build critters', extra critters, and an adventure. But, C7 has put 'Night of Blood' and 'If Looks Could Kill' out for free. That seems a very reasonable make-up to me. Both have numerous monster stat blocks. And arguably, two free adventures packaged separately is better than one packaged with the book.
Fair point about the free adventures, and they did cross my mind. I suppose in this day and age even if you buy the rulebook in a bricks and mortar store the next thing you do is hit up the internet to see what else is available. (I've heard mixed reviews about how well balanced the boss-creature in 'If Looks Could Kill' is though.) I do think having an introductory adventure in the core rulebook is worthwhile.
easl wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:20 pm
The first paragraph of the bestiary describes the 'build from starter example' approach.
Sure, but it's a bit vague.
The creatures presented in the Bestiary are generic, typical starter examples of their ilk. You are encouraged to customise them and create your own, using the statistics found here and adding Skills and Talents as you feel are necessary, perhaps even using the full Career system to create terrifying opponents. The quickest way to create fast NPC adversaries is to use Creature Traits; all creatures come with one or more Creature Traits as standard, but additional ones can be added as required, and they can be mixed with Skills and Talents as you see fit.
I guess whether that's satisfactory is a matter of taste.
easl wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:20 pm
From Andy Law's post it sounds to me like the 'toolbox' approach they took was fully intended, they had specific reasons for doing it (whether one agrees with them or not), and thus this approach was not simply 'laziness' as you say.
We can agree to disagree about that (I hope).
space reasons.
Feels like this was a problem for various sections of the book.
easl
Posts: 45
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Karanthir wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:26 am
I suppose in this day and age even if you buy the rulebook in a bricks and mortar store the next thing you do is hit up the internet to see what else is available.
Yep. And I think this also figures into the '...for space reasons' problem too. The ability to provide supplementary material on-line probably has the business side of RPG publishing pressing the creative side to keep the core, glue-and-paper versions as lean as possible. Which is definitely detrimental to the whole concept of a stand-alone core book. But then again, online publishing has probably been far more of a boon to RPGing than a bane. Sure, we get less finished stuff. But we probably get tens if not hundreds more system ideas published than we would have without the internet.
We can agree to disagree about that (I hope).
Sure. Though full disclosure, like OldPlayer I get tired of opening a thread and reading the same few commenters tell me why a system sucks. A problem certainly not limited to WFRPG4
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Orin J.
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easl wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:09 am
Karanthir wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:26 am
I suppose in this day and age even if you buy the rulebook in a bricks and mortar store the next thing you do is hit up the internet to see what else is available.
Yep. And I think this also figures into the '...for space reasons' problem too. The ability to provide supplementary material on-line probably has the business side of RPG publishing pressing the creative side to keep the core, glue-and-paper versions as lean as possible.
like hell it did. the 4th ed rulebook wastes space everywhere, between the constant sidebars to remind you "the rules are all optional!" randomly interspaced full-page art that contributes nothing and weirdly spaced out rules that have to be half-repeated all over because they're spread drowsily through the book like a concept draft there's plenty of room they could have reclaimed if they'd made any attempt to make it readable instead of "pretty". this was a badly done book editing wise, problems with rule system itself aside. they had no idea what to do to make the game system flow when they read it and it's a mess of poorly considered choices and wasted space on contradictory options.

no rulebook in the year of 2018 needed to waste a whole chapter on "care what your players are doing, it's their game too!".
easl
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Orin J. wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:41 am
randomly interspaced full-page art that contributes nothing
I like art in my RPGs. I don't think it contributes nothing. Attn RPG developers: please continue to employ graphic artists, IMO they add greatly to the content. Rules tell me how to play. A novel system of rules may make me curious about trying it. But the art inspires me to want to play.
this was a badly done book editing wise, problems with rule system itself aside. they had no idea what to do to make the game system flow when they read it and it's a mess of poorly considered choices and wasted space on contradictory options.
I understand your position. You're very effective at communicating it. So why repeat it on every thread?
no rulebook in the year of 2018 needed to waste a whole chapter on "care what your players are doing, it's their game too!".
I used to agree with you on this. I complained loudly about the new L5R's tens of pages spent on how to think about who your character might be. FFS, I thought, this is the 5th edition. Anyone playing this game should already know how to build a good Crane or Scorpion by now. Game of 20 questions? That was unnecessary by 2 editions ago. But then it was pointed out to me that this material is for new players, not necessarily me. And that new players are important - mere fanservice doesn't actually keep the industry alive. And I learned. And I stopped complaining about the text clearly designed to help new players (or in your example case, GMs) figure out how to get into the role-playing mindset.
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Orin J.
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easl wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:53 pm
And that new players are important - mere fanservice doesn't actually keep the industry alive. And I learned. And I stopped complaining about the text clearly designed to help new players (or in your example case, GMs) figure out how to get into the role-playing mindset.
i've taught probably hundreds of kids to play RPGs, sticking that shit in the book for them to read doesn't help- either they know it or they need someone else to tell them because the book won't get through their haze of confusion. the main thing a rulebook needs to do for newbies is have a clear, concrete, easy to reference system of rules. then they want to change it they'll be able to regardless but the GM needs a backstop to rely on because the vast majority of the time the players bully the new GM and when the GM is miserable, everyone's miserable. that 4th fails to be a good WFRP book isn't even the issue, it fails at being a good RPG system fullstop and assumes the players will bring all the problem solving to the table themselves.

man, you've got an insufferable writing style.
makrellen
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easl wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:20 pm
From Andy Law's post it sounds to me like the 'toolbox' approach they took was fully intended, they had specific reasons for doing it (whether one agrees with them or not), and thus this approach was not simply 'laziness' as you say. However it also sounds like he had a much bigger description of how to do critter builds planned, and it got cut for space reasons.
It was definately not a case of "let's make a toolbox and throw in optional rules".

It was a case of "Lead designer (Dom) and Lead producer (Andy) do not agree". But instead of having one of them call the shots they just agreed to disagree and put in optional rules instead. If you follow Andy's comments on discord he has already stated this. Which incidently has sparked him creating a whole new WFRP 4.5 ed houserules to remove all of the things he didn't get to put in the original rulebook.

So I totally understand people who are dissatisfied with the rulebook - it was a case of really bad management that led to a series of really really bad calls on how to produce the book. And they simply can't hide that as "ohhhh - it's a sandbox - make up whatever you think works".
Graak
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makrellen wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:05 am
...
It was a case of "Lead designer (Dom) and Lead producer (Andy) do not agree". But instead of having one of them call the shots they just agreed to disagree and put in optional rules instead. If you follow Andy's comments on discord he has already stated this. Which incidently has sparked him creating a whole new WFRP 4.5 ed houserules to remove all of the things he didn't get to put in the original rulebook.

So I totally understand people who are dissatisfied with the rulebook - it was a case of really bad management that led to a series of really really bad calls on how to produce the book. And they simply can't hide that as "ohhhh - it's a sandbox - make up whatever you think works".
Interesting! Thanks for commenting and sharing the infos.

Has that 4.5 version been collected anywhere? I would be curious to see how different is Law's vision from the published wfrp4.
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totsuzenheni
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Graak wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:09 am
Has that 4.5 version been collected anywhere? I would be curious to see how different is Law's vision from the published wfrp4.
As far as i'm aware Andy Law is putting all his WFRP 4th edition house rules on his 'Lawhammer' blog, and there have been five such posts so far, which are:

http://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2019/12/h ... -some.html,
http://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2019/12/v ... skill.html
http://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2020/01/career-paths.html
http://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2020/01/r ... h-map.html
http://lawhammer.blogspot.com/2020/01/t ... rolls.html

I'd be interested to know if anyone's aware of him posting any material anywhere else though.
makrellen
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And just for reference - this is quoted from discord:

Andy Law17.01.2020
@Emperor Jaalib (he/him) I have no issue with not using certain rules, even if I was involved with a book where they are presented. That's what the Optional Rules are for, after all (it's hard-coded into WFRP4). Indeed, one of the core reasons that the Optional Rules exist is because Dom played RPGs one way, and I played them another. And that's cool. Whenever we disagreed, optional rules were often (not always) the result. That worked well, and WFRP's creation was great fun.
CapnZapp
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Those blog posts read as if a fan is just messing around with a system; far from thought-through experienced rules design. No surprise then how the book ended up the way it did.

I definitely don't buy the "Lead designer (Dom) and Lead producer (Andy) do not agree" explanation. More like two enthusiastic fans not knowing what they're doing. That is, even if they had been in perfect agreement, I see exactly zero indication the end game would have been better. Just fewer optional systems. Maybe.

Why? Because WFRP4 is a trainwreck. It's just a hodge-podge of "nifty stuff" thrown together with no thought to overall balance. I see subsystem after subsystem that - if taken in isolation - might come across as reasonable, but simply isn't when evaluated in context. They just took Chris Pramas v2 and added stuff in. Then they tore out a few things. Then they added lots more stuff. Then they went completely bananas, and just filled with book with junk. I see exactly zero evidence they at any point paused to think "but how will the game as written run?".

There's just soo many little rules. All cludgey, cluttery and, taken together, utterly unworkable.

There's a term for that kind of rules designers.

Amateurs.
Karanthir
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easl wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:09 am
Sure. Though full disclosure, like OldPlayer I get tired of opening a thread and reading the same few commenters tell me why a system sucks. A problem certainly not limited to WFRPG4
That's fair. I don't think I post enough (especially about rules) to be one of those commenters (again, I hope). I find these discussions interesting for the most part. There are people on both sides with valid points and people on both sides who go to far imo.

Full disclosure on my part: I'm a committed 3e player, so 4e was never going to be the edition for me. But I've got a hard copy of the core book on my shelf and tried to give it a fair chance (based purely off reading - would play if I found a GM running and had the time). And I've bought everything else in pdf to support the ongoing existence of WFRP and the Old World (and to plunder ideas to convert across to 3e).
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