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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay – Second Edition
Okay, this bit was supposed to be about Paranoia1 but Mrs Dreadful got me the new WFRP book for my birthday so I've decided to do a little review...
The first thing that I noticed about WFRP v2 is how much more stylish it is than WFRP v1. Every page is full colour, with borders reminiscent of those medieval pictures they always show on history documentaries when they've run out of bones and swords to look at. Most of the illustrations are full colour as well, and those that aren't have been given a nice sepia tone to make them sit better on the parchment coloured pages... even the inevitable John Blanche illustration looks nice!
The real gem of WFRP v2 is the system. On the surface it's pretty much the same, lots of percentiles and tables but the changes quickly become apparent. Gone are the classes and alignment2 and thankfully all the dice3 have been dumped in favour of the humble D10. Of course Careers are here to stay, with but a few alterations; the Beggar has been shooed out of the public eye4, to be replaced with similar but more likely Careers like the Bone Picker, and we now have a few more Careers which are intended for those humans who don't come from the Empire. The magic system has been vastly improved as well: gone are the magic points from the WFRP of yesteryear, now replaced by a system of casting dice and spell difficulty similar to the Warhammer miniatures game.
Combat, of course, is still not for the faint hearted...
Dreadful Rating: 9/10
The Misadventures of Malark Greycastle
Malark Greycastle was my first major character in Dungeons and Dragons. He was a Cleric of Selûne, who happened to be a little bit mental... he was also a real Mr Average, with none of his stats being above 12. During the first session we said a little bit about our characters5 and then the following dialogue occurred:
'Choose a party leader,' came the Dungeon Master's request.
'We choose Malark!' Chorused three-quarters of the adventuring party.
'Are you sure?' Queried Mr Dreadful, 'He is a bit insane, y'know.'
And the adventuring party said: 'Yes'.
The first adventure started in the usual way, village is being terrorised by monsters and we're here to help... everything was going swimmingly to start with, we abseiled down a mine shaft, despatched a few gribblies and got a little bit of treasure.
Things only started to get bad when Malark developed his Kobold6 allergy... During our first dungeon we encountered a bunch of Kobolds who were on the other side of a ravine, with only a rope bridge spanning the gap. Of course the Kobolds, being cowardly creatures, just stayed on the other side and shot at us. While the rest of the party remained relatively unscathed, and even took out a few of the little buggers, Malark was repeatedly hit by arrows. This trend continued for the whole of the Kobold encounter7.
Now, it didn't end there... since the Kobold encounter my dice rolls had been getting progressively worse, and most of the time I was lucky to roll the lowest possible result for success8.
This really came to a head with the 'Unfortunate Rope Bridge Incident'. Y'see, the party was running across a rope bridge which was over a river of lava and there were little Fire Elementals buzzing around us... I decided it would be a good idea to swat one out of the air. Malark hits. Fire Elemental dies. We move on...
A Fire Elemental appears and takes issue with Malark's actions and decides to burn the rope bridge. Now we are dangling on what is essentially a rope ladder over a river of lava. The rest of the party manages to scramble up and are now stood on the ledge waiting for Malark.
Remember that climb check in full plate armour I mentioned in the first column? This was it... in fact, there were four of them... all of which I failed. Eventually the rest of the party helped me out using lengths of rope and other useful things.
Malark is now terrified of rope bridges.
To be continued...
Next Time: Religion, Role-playing and the Moral Majority – Part 1.