unbalanced races

Cubicle 7 // 2018
habdankm
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:43 am

I've found that in WFRP4ed there is no balance between stats of different races like humans and elves or dwarfs. During battle or any skill tests elf or dwarf will dominate. What GM can do, to allow all players to have same impact on a game even if there is one elf in team?
I know that real life is not fair, but still rpg is about fun so we expect during game some kind of balance between players (like common rule in rpg's is more or less same level of experience of characters).
Ideas from this article https://www.cubicle7games.com/wfrp-its- ... ing-elven/ aren't solving problem of balance at all. As Cubicle7 left designe similar to WFRP1ed, all homebrew rules are mostly welcome.
FasterThanJesus
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Location: UK

Yeah, definite problem from 1st. I think they believe that fate and fortune points balance this out, but I'm not nearly so sure.

You could try the stats from 2nd edition which are more balanced. Another option is to impose an xp penalty (e.g. -10% or -20%), to stunt their growth, which may fit a little with extra lifespan and the classic notion of human versatility. Another possibility is to hand extra starting XP to human characters whether randomly rolled or not.

I found it odd that they're back to 1st edition level of difference between species but tried very hard to balance careers.
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Orin J.
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single out elves and dwarfs for harassment, basically. the fate points thing is largely a moot point unless you're already leaning on everyone much harder than the game suggests from what i've seen, as is the endevours penalty elves get (i've only seen one group use it and it was pretty much "take as many as you need unless there's a specific reason for a time frame" with them).

that said, racism is perfectly in-character with the setting so it's fine to give them a taste of it when the players decide they want to start minmaxing.
mormegil
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In my game the elf used fate in the first session and now is out of resilience as well. The dwarf stands a bit better, although he also use some resilience to get big guys down.

From my experience of 20 sessions, having fate and resilience gives you additional life, as it is certain that at some point the dice will hit you hard.
habdankm
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FasterThanJesus - did you tried to calculate somehow if +600XP for humans for start and +10%xp cost for elf/dwarf is enough to compensate differences? Or it's too much?
FasterThanJesus
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I've not done any calculations. I won't be starting my WFRP v4 campaign until next year after TEW volume 1 is out in hardback and I'm hoping to use the pregens and stick to humans.

I think +600xp would be too much. Elves and Dwarfs should have some stat advantages, just not what they have in v4. If the party includes an Elf, then perhaps give extra XP to give +20 to stats for the humans. It's a little odd as I thought that 2nd edition did a decent job of balancing this. Elves also get more wounds than humans, which is something that isn't even consistent with prior versions; elves on the tabletop don't go over T3 in newer editions.

Orin's suggestion is good, too. You can use prejudice against the elves to make most social situations very hard for them, which may balance things out to an extent.

edit: cant spel or grammer...added some thoughts from tabletop
Last edited by FasterThanJesus on Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
macd21
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Play DnD?
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Hyarion
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From a purely stat driven point of view, I don't think the races are supposed to be balanced. Elves and Dwarves in the WFRP setting *are* physically and mentally superior to humans. Emphasis on the word purely, because there are limiting factors that prevent them from taking over the world.
I hold the glaive of Law against the Earth.
habdankm
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mac21 - I've played and still playing DnD (3.5 and 5e) and above lvl 5 it's not (wasn't as well) balanced at all, so it's no better than this.

Hyarion - From my (GM) point of view, it's a design mistake to make them playable races which leads to an unbalanced team and problems for choosing enemies for the whole team.

Regarding fate points - they are not balancing gameplay at all. Players with elf character will lead in most of the tests, which will make the game between players unbalanced.

I'm trying to avoid the solution mentioned by Orin, as this will quickly lead to a situation where players will hate their characters which are bullied ;-) For us, it's more about fun and a lot of jokes which were always part of our "grim old world"...

In next few days, I'll try to see, how I should define limited stats (as FasterThanJesus suggested from 2dn ed), an additional cost of advances and start xp. I'll try to see how same career path and for example 1500XP looks like for those races. It will probably break the game, so I lean toward excluding those races as playable again (as we did in 1st ed).
Braddoc
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The Elves got high initiative yes. Perhaps just use the tens of Initiative +1d10 to make it that they might not always start first always all the time.

Unsure why you would make the Elves/Dwarves the same as the others, I think it's what makes them stand out rather than just being diffrently shaped humans, but maybe just put everyone on a 2d10+20 rolls for base attributes for everyone.

Dices are fickle things; one moment you're uncovering mysteries and evil needs left and right, the next one a horse is MVP by killing off the bad guy while you're bleeding to death.
habdankm
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Braddoc It's all about the balance between players during the game, not about humans or elfs as NPC's. I don't mind to have powerful elfs mages in towers, crazy and strong troll killers in castles as long they are not controlled by players which are in the same team with novice humans rat hunters. This is very difficult for GM, as opponents needs to be very well balanced. Elfs are even more difficult as they tend to use bows, which means they are not facing an enemy in a first line. And it's complicated as hell outside battles. What I usually try to do in my rpg's session is to give all players this moment - when he/she shines and have decision and action which is moving the story forward (btw. this is quite common GM trick to make whole stuff fun and interesting for everyone). With big differences in stats, it's natural that the best guy will do, to let the team progress. Lol - I could do storytelling in such a case, but thank... ;-)
macd21
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Habdankm, you’re underestimating the importance of Fate/fortune, Resilience/resolve, and overestimating the importance of the characteristics. It’s really not a problem.
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Hyarion
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@habdankm It sounds like your problem is not the stats, your problem is the players. Trying to use the rules to force your players to play nice with each other is like trying to drive a screw with a hammer. You're using the wrong tool to solve a different problem.
I hold the glaive of Law against the Earth.
Braddoc
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:16 pm

Indeed it might be the players...yet again, if your player took an Elf to be able to be Legolas, 'only natural he's a bdass with a bow....yet again when having to ask for info in town, his Wood Elf-ness might cause him trouble with the humans, having no skill, no relation, no understanding of them.

but you're talking combat....I mean if your PCs were all humans, then would the question be how to balance combat when you got a party composed of a Soldier, a Knight, an Herbalist and a Beggar and not having the Soldier and knight stealing everyone's thunder while the herbalist and beggar do nothing with their dulled knives.
Jareth Valar
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An elf with a bow isn't as bad as a halfling with a sling. Our group has a halfling Hunter with the highest skill in the group (and we have one of each race) at a 65 in Ranged (Sling).

Here's a question, how do you handle a player bringing in a new character after they lose one? If there game has been going a while and said character wasn't a human that died to their Dooming or reached their long term ambition the attribute difference will be even greater.

I say this because it seems to be impressed that someone making a new character starts at the beginning as both Dooming and long term ambition let you start a new character with half of the old ones experience. If you are not using that, and letting them make new characters at the current experience, are you compensation humans with an extra random Talent, since Dooming is useless as a Talent at that point?

Personally, the elf/dwarf attribute thing is a bit like the tortoise and the hare table. They start out strong, but eventually falter along the way.

You say you want everyone at the table to have fun, but what about the player who really wants to play an elf or dwarf for the story/love of the fluff of the race? Are they going to have fun being shoehorned into to playing something else so another player won't complain? Unless you state at session 0 that this will be a human and halfling only campaign it might be an issue.
easl
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Here's how it breaks down (ignoring movement):

Humans get 6 fate/res points
Dwarfs get 4 f/r points, +30 (net) attribute points
Halflings get 5 f/r points, +20 (net) attribute points, and -SB hit points
Elves get 2 f/r points, +80 (net) attribute points, and 1 less endeavor during down time (going by standard rules, they lose about 1 out of every 3), and a nebulous foreigner-type reputation that GMs are free to interpret how they wish.

Just taking a swag at "balancing" things, I'd probably count a f/r point as +10 attributes (and the Halfling's fewer HP as a -10 attribute...and maybe count the lost endeavor the same...and maybe count the reputation problem the same). In that case...
Humans: keep'em as they are
Dwarves: lose one +10 attribute bonus (player decides which)
Halflings: keep'em as they are
Elves: lose two +10 attribute bonuses (player decides which)

(Note: Humans also generally have a wider career selection, however I think we can ignore that since most players will probably have a career in mind, and will use the 'roll or choose' mechanic of chargen to make sure they can take the career they want to play.)
Jareth Valar wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:10 pm
Here's a question, how do you handle a player bringing in a new character after they lose one?
Yeah, I dislike that too. If I had my druthers, I'd probably do something like start every new character at around 90% of the experience of the old ones (because being able to design out a high-exp character has some advantages over playing through to that experience level), and say your dead PC's 'doomed' trait lets your new PC start with some nice piece of kit or minor magic item instead.
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Orin J.
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Jareth Valar wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:10 pm
Here's a question, how do you handle a player bringing in a new character after they lose one? If there game has been going a while and said character wasn't a human that died to their Dooming or reached their long term ambition the attribute difference will be even greater.

I say this because it seems to be impressed that someone making a new character starts at the beginning as both Dooming and long term ambition let you start a new character with half of the old ones experience. If you are not using that, and letting them make new characters at the current experience, are you compensation humans with an extra random Talent, since Dooming is useless as a Talent at that point?
I was toying with alternate advantages to dooming (gaining bonus SLs for rolls relating to the doom while doubling any failures was the one we were leaning towards) because granting bonus XP instead of granting an adventurer close to the party's XP from the beginning is effectively risking the entire campaign for the sake of a mechanics gimmick.

This said for WFRP we usually operate under the "you die in the middle of nowhere, you're stick with picking from the available NPCs for a replacement" method, so in that case i'd say letting them have bonus XP to pump into the NPC to improve it is a neat idea.
macd21
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Hasn’t happened in my campaign yet, but I’ll probably give the new character 80 or 90% of the group xp. If something like Dooming applies, I’ll grant 130-140%.
sx dwarf
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habdankm +1.

You're right on spot. Elves are unbalanced. Resiliencee, Fate, Endeavour and Social stigma aren't enough to square things out. RAW, the elves are a race for munchkins players.

The best way to deal with them is to keep them as for a NPC race or to tweak their facials bonus to make them more playables and enjoyables for others players.
Iltherion
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Why would it be less enjoyable for other players? I would think it would be a good roleplaying opportunity.
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