So last post, I gave a bit of a rant of how I saw the 3rd edition of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play. Well, about a week later, I may be shelving it for a while. I found the mechanics fun, but due to such a hefty requirement of the cards and bits, it has been hard to get myself and others motivated to try it any further. The biggest problem is just space…we’re more of the living room and couch variety of gamers. Even with 4E D&D, we’ve moved away from the kitchen table to spacier, more comfortable surroundings. Between the required card use and shared dice of WFRP3e, it’s more a pain in the ass to prepare and setup than other RPG’s. I give props to Fantasy Flight for trying something different; but overall I’m kind of let down with how that game turned out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Fantasy Flight’s board games, card games, and other role-playing games. I just think WFRP 3E really suffers with the parts requirement. Hell, I was looking into the PDFs of the new edition on DriveThruRPG — what the hell is the point? Almost all of the mechanics and abilities are printed exclusively to the cards! Combine that with the requirement of the special dice….there’s no real reason to go electronic. I was hoping that maybe they had PDFs of the cards….no luck.
Even after looking at ways to “trim the fat” and make the game lighter, I still feel unimpressed with the title. Which sucks, because I was trying to defend the idea of branching out and experimenting with new designs in role playing mechanics. I could not honestly recommend paying for the full price for this product, unless you and your group are big Warhammer fans or looking for a different approach in role-playing. In a lot of ways, this reminds me of something like Dragonlance: SAGA edition. Some people can really get into the mechanics and approach, others feel it’s more of a novelty than a real game. Oh well.
Turning to the Stars: Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader
Luckily, shortly before getting my copy of WFRP3e, I managed to snag a copy of Dark Heresy. This last week I also picked up Rogue Trader as well. Let me just say it blows me away that both of the 40K RPG’s are put out by the same company that put out the Warhammer Fantasy game. I mean, both are the excellent “Fantasy Flight” quality products I expected, but I felt for half the cost both of the 40K games had more meat to them. Hardbound books, requiring only a couple of d10’s, and the possibilities look endless. Last night, I took both of these tomes over to my friend’s place, and he was sucked in by the artwork and the character concepts. Trying to garner interest in the Fantasy game was like pulling teeth; now he’s all excited about hunting Xenos in space or commandeering a large trade vessel.
So this weekend, we’re going to get our feet wet with the 40K Role Playing games. Like we do with most new systems, we’re going to start out with a couple one shots and pre-made characters. While the overall interest seems to be focused on Rogue Trader, it has been admitted Dark Heresy just looks too cool to not use. So I’m thinking of mixing them up for our first adventure: a couple Accolytes are assigned to a Trader vessel to head out to the fringes of space in search of a missing ship bearing something important to the inquisition. Will probably ham it up as a cliche’d ship crawl with frightening xeno atrocities and opportunities to get faces eaten.
And I have to say….a lot of the planning and the reading reminds me of the “good ol’ days” of planning games like World of Darkness and Shadowrun. There’s something nice about crunchy systems with easy dice mechanics, big guns and a damn good setting provided for ya.