WFRP 4 analysis

Cubicle 7 // 2018
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Rat Catcher
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Fri May 03, 2019 6:24 am

CapnZapp wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:18 am
A spellcaster is either an Uber-Elf or restricted to just one colour of magic
If non-elves can only cast from one colour of magic, then that does suck.

EDIT: And yes, it does look like it's one coloured magic per character. I'm sure in 1st ed you could dabble in them all; summoning, demonology, necromancy, etc.
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Orin J.
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Fri May 03, 2019 10:25 pm

1st editon didn't really HAVE color magic though, and restriction is a lore thing....

not to mention you still get to dabble in the non-color magics if you REALLY want to? it says a dark lore and one other lore in regards to learning extra magic, so i'm assuming it means one each of color/dark/other.....
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Rat Catcher
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Sat May 04, 2019 12:53 pm

Not sure that's enough to satisfy my wants to be honest. It's actually more a case fo not wanting a player to get bored with a limited use of magic.
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Orin J.
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Sat May 04, 2019 3:29 pm

right now most of the lores themselves do pretty much the same thing, the varied stuff is in the general spell pool.
CapnZapp
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Sun May 05, 2019 3:23 am

Rat Catcher wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 6:24 am
CapnZapp wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:18 am
A spellcaster is either an Uber-Elf or restricted to just one colour of magic
If non-elves can only cast from one colour of magic, then that does suck.

EDIT: And yes, it does look like it's one coloured magic per character. I'm sure in 1st ed you could dabble in them all; summoning, demonology, necromancy, etc.
GW forced the colour system upon Warhammer in between 1st and 2nd Editions.

If colours each had a variety of non-combat spells (consistent with the themes of that colour) this wouldn't have been an issue.

C7 did try to ameliorate the problem by expanding the general (arcane, lesser or whatever you want to call them) spells. Credit where its due.

Still - I have would preferred it if each "school" of magic incorporated more than variously coloured zap spells. GW's insistence on magic being battle magic is a disaster for the worldbuilding.
CapnZapp
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Sun May 05, 2019 3:33 am

Orin J. wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 10:25 pm
1st editon didn't really HAVE color magic though, and restriction is a lore thing....

not to mention you still get to dabble in the non-color magics if you REALLY want to? it says a dark lore and one other lore in regards to learning extra magic, so i'm assuming it means one each of color/dark/other.....
I remember this subject from the 2E days.

The situation remains the same: yes, the rules are unclear, but no, the lore is quite clear: you are only supposed to be able to hold one Lore in your feeble human brain at a time.

To stick to the lore, any non-Elf that learns a second Lore must forget the first one.

Of course, that makes for horribly inflexible stories. I definitely recommend y'all to pretty much ignore what GW tells us.

To me it is obvious that a College Fire Magister that falls to darkness can start to cast Chaos spells without losing access to his Fire spells. And no, I'm having none of the "but maybe Tzeench lets you mimic fire spells" nonsense. Taking shortcuts should be the easy and powerful option, always. Benefit now, pay later! :twisted:

In general, I find the lack of strong mechanisms to entice players to fall to the dark side problematic. There should be clear benefits of using Dhar to cast your College spells and Miracles. The temptation should always be there.

The idea that only NPCs start to worship the Ruinous Powers and becomes Chaos Sorcerers is entirely uninteresting to my mind.
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Rat Catcher
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Mon May 06, 2019 3:28 pm

So what's your current opinion on WFRP4 CapnZapp, is it worth saving with house rules?

I've just bought 1st edition and updated the pdf with the known errata. Still not sure if I'll be GMing 1st or 4th though.

I want to love 4th but I've heard so many negative reviews about it.
makrellen
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Tue May 07, 2019 12:50 am

So not CpnZapp obviously - but I will answer that anyway.

I have found it much easier to import the few good things from 4th into 1st than to house rule 4th.

But I never had a big problem with the way magic works in 1st edition so keep that in mind.
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Tue May 07, 2019 3:48 am

makrellen wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 12:50 am
So not CpnZapp obviously - but I will answer that anyway.

I have found it much easier to import the few good things from 4th into 1st than to house rule 4th.

But I never had a big problem with the way magic works in 1st edition so keep that in mind.
You make a good point. I've always thought that apart from one or two clunky rules that can be easily house-ruled (one of the main ones for me was allowing characters to stay in the player's preferred career longer), there's really nothing wrong with 1st edition. Whereas 4ed looks to me like it would take much more tweaking.
CapnZapp
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Fri May 31, 2019 2:50 am

Rat Catcher wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 3:28 pm
So what's your current opinion on WFRP4 CapnZapp, is it worth saving with house rules?
To be honest, after trying for over six months (and I consider myself very rules-crunchy) my best advice would be to give up on 4E and port over three things to 1st Edition:
1) the careers system - I initially disliked it, but since my players are loving it, I have had to reconsider
2) the opposed roll to attack (since it does get rid of the whiffing)
3) magic spells (but certainly not the rules for casting)

To add a bit more detail:
Yes, using the 4E careers system brings with it the 4E characteristics, skills and talents.

The 4E opposed attack roll is superior to the 1E/2E math that automatically makes a duel between two clumsy amateurs or a duel between two expert veterans go on forever. I would still determine Damage the 1E/2E way, though†.

I would not import Advantage. I would simply use the 1E Winning and Gaining rule (which in my opinion is not only far simpler but far better too). Any Talent mentioning Advantage simply requires or spends WaG instead. As long as players know this beforehand, they can simply avoid the few Talents that lose too much because of this.

I would probably use 2E's approach to parrying. That is, everybody get to parry once and dodge once†. Having a shield or second weapon grants a bonus parry (but dual wielding does not grant a second attack).

†) This is because 4E makes Weapon Skill far too important at the expense of Strength and Agility.
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Fri May 31, 2019 3:45 am

I'm pretty much exactly where you are Cap. I've given up on 4E and see it as a bit of a disappointment.

Oh well, here's hoping that the 5ed is better.
Graak
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Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:11 am

Rat Catcher wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:45 am
...
Oh well, here's hoping that the 5ed is better.
LOL! :D :D :D

CapnZapp wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:50 am

To be honest, after trying for over six months (and I consider myself very rules-crunchy) my best advice would be to give up on 4E and port over three things to 1st Edition:
1) the careers system - I initially disliked it, but since my players are loving it, I have had to reconsider
2) the opposed roll to attack (since it does get rid of the whiffing)
3) magic spells (but certainly not the rules for casting)
...
Don't you find opposed roll to attack too fiddly? Maybe you are right though, keeping it and rolling damage as usual could work fine.
Have you tried to read Eclipse Phase d100 combat rules? Those are the ones upon Zweihander was built iirc (rules are creative Commons BTW). To-hit roll is opposed and damage roll is indipendente of opposed degrees of success, but you got a bonus to the damage if you hit and rolled over 30 or over 60. It's a nice compromise I think.

Magic: why would you use 4th edition spells? Do you think they are better than 2nd edition? I've read elsewhere that they are too combat-centric and less flavourful.

You said you are a crunchy DM. What's your opinion on Dark Heresy rules then? I think it's the perfect evolution of 2nd edition ruleset, albeit a bit too heavy for my tastes somehow.
CapnZapp
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:10 am

Opposed attacks: no, I don't think they're too fiddly.

Fiddly, but not too fiddly (Which goes for almost everything in 4E. In isolation, very few things in themselves are too fiddly. It is when you combine all the pages into a rulebook you enter a nightmare of fiddliness)

My current sentiment is that opposed rolls achieve something truly desirable: that any matched fight isn't inherently slower. Most notably, the rather common WFRP occurrence when a fledgling Rat Catcher meets a scrawny Mutant. The whiffiness simply isn't there anymore.

However, almost every follow-on rule C7 tried out is not successful. So just using the opposed roll to be able to declare a winner of every exchange is the big thing to takeaway here: that few combat rounds are wasted with everybody missing.

Then you can use the traditional d6 or d10 roll for damage if you don't want the gymnastics of Success Levels. You can use that Eclipse Phase simplification.

But 4E does show that WFRP no longer needs to be saddled with "I miss. I miss. I hit! But you dodge... I miss. I hit! But you parry..."
CapnZapp
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:13 am

Re: magic. I think 2E and 4E is about the same - passable but far from great. What they are, though, is far preferable to 1E magic which was my only point here: remember this was about using 1E with certain 4E infusions...

I have zero experience with or interest in anything W40K, sorry can't help you
Graak
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:06 am

Thanks for your answers.

It's a pity you don't know DH rules in this case, it added a lot of modifiers hunt and thus tactical approach to the combat where those modifiers were well-tied to the fiction and not abstract minigames or metacurrencies. Hence it maintained low stat PCs that are always dependent on the fiddleness of the dice rolls... unless they are able to significantly sway chances in their favor adding tactical value to the fight. This imho is something 2nd edition lacks of, and 4th has done in a completely wrong way (metagame and metacurrencies). Obviously "wrong" is my personal taste.

Another aspect to consider imho is that those turns that felt like useless and void of any significance in WFRP ("i hit, you dodge, i miss, you miss, you hit, i oarfy6, he hits i dodge) were, mechanically speaking, a series of roll on WS and AG that granted that with several rolls a mere 20% difference between two combatants in the end becomes substantial and favored the best fighter... In the long run. That was the problem: you need several turns in order to make a % difference to emerge.

With straight opposed rolls that directly deal damage I think the overall randomness increases if compared to several rolls. You say this kills the whiff factor and it's true, but also introduces an increased randomness to the result of the combat. In order to keep this randomness controlled and aligned to the fiction the combat rules should be enriched with more tactical thought, and situational modifiers that grant percentage bonuses to smart thinkers, so that the almost absolute randomness can be somehow "steered". I don't know which situational modifiers and tactical thought is comprised in 1st edition (haven't had the chance to read it in depth), nor if 4th edition has something worth stealing about this aspect, but imho if opposed rolls are the cure for whiffness then adding tactical depth and modifiers to opposed combat rolls is the cure for the heavy randomness.

My 2 cents. :)

Cheers

Edit: fixed typo
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