Episode 49

by Brian on December 26, 2009

Chris and Brian return with a long discussion on Fantasy Flight Games new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition box, a too short review of Diaspora (that didn’t get put off to another episode), and a brief bit about Trail of Cthulhu.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam December 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm

The 4 books for WHFRP 3rd are available for sale as PDFs now: $25 for the bundle or $5-10 for each individual book: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

Brian December 27, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Yea, I saw they released the books on pdf shortly after Chris and I recorded the episode … I think my comment was, “Well, wrong about that … “.

We’ll see if FFG has the books available themselves in physical form as well. I’d suspect not, but I’ve been wrong about this once already.

Matt Steele December 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm

A thought about price point (ignoring those pesky indie games). If I’m gonna run a new major release RPG I’m typically gonna get 3 products. 1. Core Game Book, 2. GM Screen, 3. Adventure Book. This way I have the tools to run a game and an idea about how games are supposed to be run in the setting/system according to the publisher. A quick cast around the interweb puts that at about $70. I’m ready to go ’cause I already got dice, maps etc. If I didn’t have all that stuff already, I’m guessing I might easily push past the $100 mark. Chris, if someone came into the store and wanted to get set up from scratch to be a GM, what kinda cost would they be lookin at?

Chris R December 31, 2009 at 2:17 am

Matt,

Let’s use D&D 4th as an example. Players Handbook, DM Guide, Monster Manual are all $30-35 each so we’re at $90 to $100 right there, say a cheap set of polyhedrals which is $4. Then a mat of some kind, the affordable Paizo blank flip mat is $13, another $10 or so for the GM screen. And we’re not talking minis, but WHFRP has standups not minis so I’m not counting. So for a startup for 4E you’re at $120-$130 to get started in D&D and you still need some counters somewhere.

Now the page counts are way different and the options are probably somewhat less for WHFRP compared to the D&D core books, but as a minimum to get started you’re around $125.

Mark January 6, 2010 at 6:54 am

If ever there was a podcast that I wish was live so I could call in, this is it…

I will try to quickly address some points:
1. it’s a big box and has lots of stuff in it, so it must be worth $100. Not if your roleplaying tastes don’t trend towards fiddly bits, counters, and cards.
2. new mechanics might cause a divide between 1st/2nd edition players and 3rd edition players when they try to talk about the game, or design fan materials for the game.
3. will the new mechanics introduce more “meta” thinking about the game? Anyway, mechanics do not by themselves foster or hinder good roleplaying (i.e. the “you can’t roleplay in 4th edition D&D due to its video-game mechanics” arguments of the past year or two).
4. new mechanics mean that instead of delving ever deeper into the fluff of the Old World, we are now once again treading over well-worn ground as FFG releases the 3rd edition equivalents of 1st and 2nd edition sourcebooks
5. the “whiff factor” was part of the charm of WFRP. Players of WFRP don’t think with their swords for a reason. After all, what are Fate Points for? 😉

Basically, I thought your review of the game was good but unfortunately ignored the context of 20+ years of WFRP gaming history. I give kudos to FFG for blazing new trails with their quasi-boardgame RPG mechanics, but I just wish it wasn’t with the WFRP license. Go do this with Runebound the RPG or something.

:-)

Steve Mortimer January 11, 2010 at 5:55 am

Hi Guys,

Once again thank you for an interesting episode.

It was nice to hear more about WFRP 3rd Ed, I don’t think its a game for me or my group but it was interesting to hear about it.

Its nice to see that someone (FFG in this case) is at least trying new things, even if they are not appealing to me personally.

Steve

Clyde L. Rhoer January 11, 2010 at 11:44 am

This episode led to me buying Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, which was something that had not previously been on my itinerary. It looks to be a really cool game.

d7 January 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I just tried to subscribe to the podcast with both the iTunes and the RSS links in the sidebar. Both are broken! I thought you might like to know. :)

I did manage to subscribe by searching the iTunes Store for “random direction”, though, so it’s just the links that are broken. Non-iTunes subscribers will be out of luck though.

Brian January 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Thanks, Mark – some good ideas there. However, on the “your review … unfortunately ignored the context of 20+ years of WFRP gaming history.” I’m not sure that I agree. While we may not have discussed it explicitly in those terms, well, I was reading WHFRP (1st) on its release. I’ve run The Enemy Within – cover to cover (and then some). I’ve got my Warpstones. I’ve have and have run my 2nd ed. Yadda Yadda.

I think I come from the perspective of 20+ years of WFRP gaming.

And while I loves me my 1st / 2nd ed (and think GR did a great job with the – let’s not forget fairly recent 2nd ed), well, it’s frankly played out. To my tired WFRP eyes, there better be something very new to a new edition.

For better or worse, this is very new, or at least very different. As a 3rd edition, it had every right – if not the expectation – to be different than Dad and Gramps. Whether there needed to be a 3rd edition at all is an entirely different story … and one that’s been covered via D&D 4th v D&D 3 v …

I think trying to give actual respect to two decades of previous editions and experience is tough when it comes to game design. Stay to close to the prior, and you’re treading the same fan base and feeding them the meal they ate last week. Deviate too far and you get the opposite.

… and yes, seeing the comments, I wish we could have had call-in listeners as well to join the discussion.

Adam January 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Hey d7,

Sorry about the problems — both links should be fixed now!

Mark March 12, 2010 at 6:41 am

Hey Brian,
Thanks for responding. I’m looking forward to listening to episode 50 while I drive to Cold Wars today (a local historical wargaming convention).

I think that there are 2 types of “new” that FFG could have done for 3rd edition WFRP. One would have been to keep most of the core mechanics intact (maybe with a few new ideas bolted on), and reboot the WFRP series in a new part of the Old World or in a new era. I believe that this would have excited the existing fanbase, while also allowing for the continued sharing of ideas between players of 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition. But it might not have drawn in many new converts.

The other option is to totally change the mechanics, and the “look and feel” of the game to draw in new players (and possibly excite the existing fanbase). Unfortunately this option then requires FFG to retread already well-trod ground for the existing fanbase as the same stuff that most WFRP players already have needs to be re-released for the new mechanics (i.e. Bestiary, Armoury, expanded career options, etc.).

As it is, in my area the original box set sold well, but you hardly see it being played anymore. Of the majority of the WFRP “old-timers” I’ve talked to (a small sample size, to be sure), the new mechanics are not enough of an enticement for them to continue to essentially re-purchase information that they already have.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

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