DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left by this customer:
You must be logged in to rate this
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Rulebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Ville H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/03/2018 10:22:57

I've never read or played a Warhammer Fantasy product before.

Warhammer's world feels more "sociological" than many fantasy games': it's clearly a society with its own features, functions, and classes with wide gaps in wealth and status. No one in this world is merely an "individual", but always an individual in a society. Your character's career is always tied to a place in the society; but they still have reasons to go on adventures and the game offers suggestions. For example, there are limits to what doctors are allowed to do in schools, so some more enterprising types see adventuring as an opportunity to learn some nitty-gritties of physiology and anatomy in practice.

The rules are based on d100. I don't know what the first two editions were like, but this edition uses the same dice operations that I know from Unknown Armies: doubles/matches, reversals, and rerolls. I'm not usually a big fan of systems that use the d100, but this seems to work pretty well and utilize the mechanics to their full extent. WFRP even uses Success Levels in a pretty elegant way: only the number on the tens die matter. That is, if your need to roll at least 61 and you roll 07, your success level is 6-0 = 6. Success levels can be used pretty much everywhere and you can even deduce dramatic outcomes from them ("yes, and", "no, but" etc.)

There's not a lot of maths involved anywhere and any special abilities that your character may have are pretty easily understood - most of them are described with one or two sentences. In addition, the special abilities called Talents aren't dependent on one another - that is, you don't need to pick A in order to later pick B and C or D. If you like intricate character builds, this isn't for you. But if you appreciate pretty light system with more emphasis on story than mastering the mechanics, you might like this. The advancement system seems like the fiddliest bit of the game, but at least it's done between sessions.

There are some slight organisatory issues (Success Levels are mentioned before they're explained, for example) and the PDF isn't bookmarked. The organisatory issues only really matter on the first read-through, because once you grasp the basics, you know how everything works and it's easy to grasp the logic of the system. The lack of bookmarks is a shame, but at least the six-page index appears to be pretty useful.

Other than those, the book is well-edited. The text goes straight to the point and uses words effectively: it achieves both usefulness and color without wasting words. Probably my favorite are the pages on the main gods of the Empire: each one gets a page, but on that page, you get a lot of stuff on their beliefs, practices, symbols etc.

Like I said, I can't compare it to the earlier editions which I haven't read. As a stand-alone product, it feels reasonably old-school without the clunkiness of many old-school games. The system offers a lot of freedom to make the game suit your group; and it's gritty and non-intrusive but still supports fail forward. Overall, it successfully walks the path between old and new. It's a great product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Black Hack Second Edition
Publisher: Gold Piece Publications
by Ville H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/03/2018 04:07:24

Probably the current pinnacle of OSR design.

Take a look at the preview. It gives a pretty good idea of how concise it is; the example of play illustrates the basic mechanics of the game within a very short space. It sold me on the game in a minute or two. The rest of the book is equally good, if not better.

The game has a few basic mechanics that it uses for everything. It is streamlined without being too simplistic (in my opinion, at least). The simplicity of its part guarantees that it's easy to hack and add house rules to, even if you're not too much into game design. Even the 78 spells fit on two pages.

The simplicity means that it's not for everyone. The spells are a good example. Because most spells' effects are described with one sentence, the game can't define the fictional content or detailed mechanical restrictions for them. Beginning GMs might find it difficult, and it certainly isn't suited for groups that want intricate mechanics or protection from arbitrary and unfair GMs. But for groups that trust one another and want to do all that work for themselves, it's a beautifully simple and open design.

The basic rules take up 30 pages or so, and the rest is filled to the brim with useful random tables and other rules and tools for the GM. You can read the whole thing fast, but keep using it for a long, long time. Because make no mistake, this is a book to be USED. But it still doesn't feel like a dry technical manual.

I believe the book suits a GM who is comfortable with improvisation. You don't need to everything alone - the mountain of random tables ensures that. But still, the tables only give you ideas and ways out of dead ends, instead of doing the work for you. It does require some effort and being comfortable at making stuff up on the fly; on the other hand, it ensures a surprising and rewarding experience for the GM as well.

I can't recommend this highly enough. You get an amazing product for a ridiculously low price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 2 (of 2 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
0 items
 Gift Certificates