Time out from the blah blah blah of political douche-baggery that I normally write about to talk about something I’m involved in:
(or as some people are calling it, “Version 3” or “WHRP v3”)
Apparently, there is a huge amount of purism pushing people to protest this game. Granted, it’s a new system and a new way of playing the game that draws from the successes of other popular RPGs in existence (D&D 4e, for example). What I’m seeing is a similar negative response from fanboys/girls that I saw in another re-imagined franchise.
If you’ve read any of my previous entries about FO3, you’ll see that I basically was disgusted in the fantard reactions of old fans of the original series (for example, the negative Nancys of No Mutants Allowed). I’m starting to see the same problematic fantardism arise from the old WHRP fans. I understand some of the complaints, but there are others that just don’t hold water (and are basically people bitching about having to use a new system because they are old people sitting on their porch yelling, “Get off mah lawn!”).
Here’s what changed in WHFR 3e:
- Instead of percentile dice (2d10), it uses a lot of unique dice to generate results. Most of the action/result can be determined directly from what was rolled.
- Making a party an actual character with stats (and a meter to keep parties from bickering too much).
- Cards to indicate what actions or talents the PCs are presently invoking for the round. Cards can actually gain tokens that can be used to do different options on the cards.
- The four races available out of the core set is Reikland human, High elf, Wood elf and a dwarf.
- Careers are limited to the cards in the box.
- Skills work differently, much like the Dark Heresy system of progression (basic, trained, etc).
- There’s a Stance mechanism that allows players to determine how aggressive they are. Each class has a different stance set up. However, green always = calm and red always = fired up. It can affect how certain talents and actions work. Built out of small chits that link together, and tracked with a counter.
So, what are the issues that I see with the game (the legit issues, in my eyes):
- Price. The price for the core set is $100. Or $120 for the expansion that comes out at the same time that adds careers and more spells.
- Space. I see the space needed to play the game is restricted to a large area, with cards, sheets, dice and stance meters. Lots of parts involved.
And that’s it. Those are legitimate inhibiting factors when you look at WHFR 3e compared to all the other RPGs that use unique stuff. In fact, WHFR 3e isn’t even all that unique. So here’s the illegitimate complaints:
- It’s a boardgame. No it isn’t. There’s no boardgame mechanics in the game. You’re just bitching that it looks like one because you hate the fact that Black Industries isn’t producing the game and Fantasy Flight Games is.
- It’s fiddly (too many cards, too many counters, etc) to be effective/speedy. We don’t know that, since we haven’t tried playing it yet. What I see are tools – the GM only has to look at the table once to see what everyone is doing. New players can read from cards instead of having to bust out the rulebook and flip through dozens of pages to find out what which talent/power does what.
- The percentile dice system is better. I’ve never thought so, and a lot of GM’s agree with me. Here’s why – people who know the percentage of chance to succeed at anything will more likely weigh all their character’s decisions on that instead of roleplaying. Not knowing the chance of outcome forces players to instead rely on “what would my character do” decisions instead of “Oh, I have a 50% chance of failing so I’m not doing it.”
- It was great the way it was, why change it? Uh, that’s never an excuse for anything. Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight Games are businesses, and – like other RPG companies – move their games in directions of the money. Right now, card-driven, unique game systems that make it easier for new GMs and players to play are huge. So the games move that way. The old v1 and v2 of WHRP was not drawing in a lot of players, and was a bit of a pain in the ass for GMs.
- It won’t capture the gritty feel of Warhammer. That – again – is bullshit. GMs create and run the setting, so it’s the GM’s job to set a gritty feeling. Or maybe the players don’t want to play WHRP in the old gritty fashion, and want to run a more heroic, high fantasy version? GMs can do that as well. Even if the new mechanics are slightly tilted to a more dynamic, faster style than the old versions, it’s still the GM who sets the tone of the world and the other characters in it. The GM is also the final arbiter of the rules and how the world goes.
What kills me are all the “this is heresy!” and “it ain’t Warhammer if it has pretty bits and a more dynamic system” type complaints. These are aesthetic issues that have more to do with player and GM preference than anything else. Don’t like v3? Then play v1 or v2! You are the consumer, you tell the developer through your wallets! But don’t sandbag and boycott the fun of everyone else looking forward to v3. Stop being a complaining, threatening, annoying shitbird.
It’s not fucking rocket science people. It’s a role-playing game.