Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Ed. Returns

The original 1st Edition of WFRP is out on DrivethruRPG. Return to the dark gritty Old World in it’s original RPG setting.

via DrivethruRPG

Cubicle 7 Entertainment says describes the new version:

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay First Edition Core Rulebook $9.99 (pdf)

Fully OCR’d, bookmarked and cleaned up to look amazing, the first edition of the seminal Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay comes to PDF!

We’ve painstakingly scanned every page, and created a PDF that maintains the appearance of the original. This does make for a slightly larger file than we’d normally produce, but on this occasion, we think it’s worth it for all the great First Edition feel! The PDF is also extensively bookmarked for ease of reference.

We released a version earlier in the year via Humble Bundle that did not have the colour plates of the Games Workshop edition, but this new PDF does have all those glorious colour plates we know so well.

If you haven’t checked out WFRP 1st Editon – you really should. It’s the original Warhammer world in it’s formative state. From the gritty career character tracks to the extremely early Chaos and Order pantheon – it’s an RPG experience like no other.

Here’s an review of the original physical book to get you in the mood:

~Just make sure you guard your character’s fatepoints…

  • dave long island

    Outstanding game. The shizzle for shizzle. Only issue I had with it, is it was too hard to hit anything with your weapon. There was a lot of ‘swing and a miss’ going on. And sure it had some other flaws, but it had the advantage of being set in the best fantasy setting out there. Death on the Reik was a great adventure, as was The Restless Dead, Shadows Over Bogenhafen, Somethings Rotten in Kislev and indeed The entire Enemy Within adventure. I liked the adventure that came with the game itself, The Oldenhaller Contract. A truly great RPG.

    • Arianod

      Only real problem with the game system was that combats tended to last forever, but that was easily fixed by halving the number of Wounds on all creatures. Apart from that minor bug, it was easily one of the best RPGs ever.

      • dave long island

        Yeah that’s true. The PCs and the monsters would stand there fanning each other with their blades, as they kept missing… lol

    • Arianod

      Well, two more problems actually:

      -the ‘all basic weapons do 1d6 damage’ rule was silly. All my players quickly realized that they could just cut a thick tree branch and make it into a club and do as much damage as the guys with the swords. I had to devise a new weapons chart with different values for each weapon.

      -the Initiative stat also carried way too much weight in the system, since it not only determined order of actions in combat, but was used for most perception-based tests like Search. In the end, we intruduced a Per stat for perception rolls and altered some of the career advance schemes accordingly. After that, everything worked like a charm.

      • dave long island

        Right. Those are sensible changes you made. I also didn’t like the d6 for all weapons rule. I’d forgotten about that. For no particular reason, I like using most or all the different kinds of dice in an RPG, ie the d4, d8, d10, d12, etc. And yah initiative was way too important a stat.

      • marlowc

        It’s fascinating isn’t it, right from the start GW were never really good at game design were they. Every game system we played was House Ruled to some extent – all part of the fun perhaps!
        Even now, they still haven’t recruited any top games designers – preferring to rely on in-house staff.
        Better give at least one example hadn’t I – There are 4 personality stats in new Necromunda (5 if you count Initiative), Leadership, Cool, Willpower and Intelligence. A better choice would have been to replace Cool and Willpower with Grit . The game has many other minor glitches, that I’m sure a professional designer would never have done.

        • marxlives

          There is a strand of lore versus design when it comes to GW stuff on the whole. Shadespire is pretty tight however. Makes me wish the real Steve Jackson could please stand up, please stand up, please stand up, and had a hand in GW’s game design fundamentals.

        • Arianod

          I know, right? XD Gotta wonder how they’ve managed to hold on for 42 years!

          • marlowc

            I think it’s down to the amazing models, and brilliant game settings. You can’t blame them for wanting to create a truly original setting of their own, after the success of the Old World, and 40K universe. Shame the Realms hasn’t really worked too well 🙁

    • Raven21001

      still use 2nd edition, have had a lot of systems over the years still the 2nd edition feels to me easiest to edit or create stories for. never had the chance for 1st edition

      • marxlives

        True, 2nd ed was really tight on its narrative play structure.

    • euansmith

      You can use something like the Basic Roleplaying Table so that you hit someone in the same skill bracket at yourself 50% of the time. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/67e4b65dee4e72d5a612cf5583529b42589a8ad95c9436582f4e1f384245a5b2.png

      • dave long island

        That’s a good idea, Euan. Thanks.

        • euansmith

          It has the advantage of allowing you to keep the “reverse roll” mechanism for critical wounds. Another alternative is to divide all skills by 5 and use them as modifiers to D20 rolls. 😉

  • frankelee

    The best background around. Hilarious to hear the kids today call Warhammer Fantasy generic. I don’t know if they just never read it, or they don’t know the meaning of the word generic.

    • Arianod

      To be 100% fair, it was pretty generic: it had all the stock fantasy elements, from high elves to orcs to beastmen, and even the Empire’s history was based on the real-life Holy Roman Empire; the Skaven were about the only genuinely “original” element in the setting. But it was generic done right, and it was the most incredibly fleshed out fantasy background out there, while at the same time leaving plenty of room for the GM to expand and adapt. It was a great game.

      • marlowc

        I suppose you could say it was generic compared to the Realms setting that followed it. But it had a unique, gritty, dark humour all of it’s own didn’t it.
        Still the best fantasy setting money can buy – how long must we wait for GW to come to their senses and return to supporting it I wonder.

        • euansmith

          I think that, tonally, its default setting was different to any other English Language fantasy rpg at the time. Its atmosphere of average Joe’s versus a molevalent cosmos was really only comparable to Call of C’thulhu at the time.

          • Hagwert

            That’s what I love about the Old World , for there to be one knight in shinny armour on a big horse there were hundreds of peasants, tenant farmers, traders, merchants,artisans, blacksmiths,scribes and tax collectors propping him up at the head of societies pyramid. So when the weird, dark, freaky and fantastical stuff did happen it somehow made it all seem more real. This is also why I enjoy Game Of Thrones. AOS just does not have that kind of balance and grounding.

          • euansmith

            “Wow! I’ve rolled, “Torturer” as my starting career! One of the high class jobs!”

            Indeed, the whole, thread-bare, ankle-deep-in-shite, damned-if-you-do-dead-if-you-don’t atmosphere was great; grim, dark and comical. I might just have to dig out my copy and give it another spin.

          • marxlives

            True while most of the generic fantasy was medieval with touches of Renaissance. OW was Renaissance with touches of medieval. Really cool.
            I think for a setting to be successful it has to have one foot in reality, for people to identify with it. OW had generic fantasy elements but you could get into it because of its unique Renaissance fantasy take. 40k is compelling because it is sci-fi but it is grounded after the fall of Julius Caesar and the era of Imperial Rome. Same thing with Warmachine. Its steampunk, but rather than being set in the standard Victorian setting, its draws from WWI and WWII with some mash up elements like holy crusaders being mixed with modern day jihadists. When Commander Stryker sent cygnaran Menites to Black Rock island to be detained for their own safety and interrogation, as an American it brought back a lot of memories of Guantanamo and our history of Asian American detention camps. That is when I got firmly into the setting.

        • Arianod

          Ah yes, the dark, gritty humor was the best. And the Age of Sigmar setting… well, I guess it must have its fans, to me it’s just meh 😛 Give me Lustria, Naggaroth, Ulthuan and the Old World any time.

          I wonder if GW will ever bring it back? They licensed it to Hogshead Publishing back in the 90s and it didn’t take off, but hey, they’ve brought back Blood Bowl and Necromunda, so who knows. They might give it a shot. We can always dream.

          • dave long island

            Well they’re making a 4th edition of WFRP now. Plus there’s Zweihander. But GW has handed off the task to another company whose working on 4th now.

      • marxlives

        True, I do like their used of Renaissance era Europe rather than medieval era and the Bretonians are clearly depicted as backwards in the setting. I have been playing Vermintide and I still don’t understand why they blew up the OW and substituted that era and flavour of fantasy which was generic enough for people to easily recognize but unique enough to stand out for Sigmar the Gathering in SPAACCEE!!!

        • Arianod

          😛 But we know: they did it literally because it was too generic. Meaning that GGW could not claim ip rights for concepts such as renaissance soldiers, medieval knights, wood elves or skeleton warriors, so they didn’t have enough legal ground to sue third party miniature makers out of business.

          • marxlives

            Sad but true. It is so sad because when you look at DnD and their most successful worlds, they draw elements from traditional concepts from Tolkien and folklore and then put in unique elements. And it is a successful product. In the end the whole IP war is a fail for GW. I could make something similar to a Stormcast and call it a Thunder Warrior and just make enough changes for it to pass and be legit. GW needs to accept that being the biggest player in the market is going to make them a lucrative choice for third party sellers.

  • Kritarion

    I currently play in a 2nd ed game. Very fun. I love my Halfling Fieldwarden.

    • Arianod

      Never knew 2nd Ed. What were the differences with the first?

      • Kritarion

        I only played 2nd, so no clue, sorry

      • bobrunnicles

        2nd Edition was like 1st Edition but with all the rough spots smoothed over. Still had the core game mechanics and career system but this time in full color. They also released books for Skaven, Undead, Kislev, Bretonnia etc which were really well done. If you haven’t checked out 2nd Ed you really should.

        Stay away from 3rd Edition though, that turned the game into a typical FFG gimmick game where you had cards for everything and custom dice.

        • Rob brown

          To be fair the rules were meh for third edition, but I felt the adventures were very well written and interesting. I converted three of them over into 1st edition. In particular the witch’s song! Awesome read.

          • dave long island

            Cool. I’ll have to check ‘Witch’s Song’ out.

        • dave long island

          Ya 2nd edition had many really excellent ‘sourcebooks’ I guess you would call them, or supplements. And most of them were hardcover books, and really beautiful and well done. Plus they had some amazing adventures. To this day ‘Terror in Talabheim’ is one of my favorite adventures of all time. Great, great stuff.

        • Arianod

          Sad 😛 I’ll check out 2nd ed if I get the chance, especially the Skaven.

          • bobrunnicles

            Yeah, look for ‘Children of the Horned Rat’ and the accompanying adventure book, ‘Terror in Talabheim’. I believe most if not all of the WFRP 2nd Ed line is available on http://www.drivethrurpg.com if you are not averse to pdfs….

  • euansmith

    Any game where your basic equipment can include fleas or a small, but vicious dog if cool in my book.

  • Azatoth

    The game with the most fearsome Demon name ever!
    “Zahnarzt shall rise again!”
    (Zahnarzt being a dentist)

    • dave long island

      Don’t remember that. Where is this demon from, ie what adventure?

      • Azatoth

        “Dying of the light”

        • bobrunnicles

          That was Hogshead’s first module iirc, right?

        • dave long island

          Oh okay. Cool. Well that explains it. I’ve never gone through that one and I don’t own it. I’ll have to look into that.

  • Drpx

    Everyone but GW seems to think the Old World is still marketable.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      The problem wasn’t the old world, the problem was that it was difficult – narratively – for some armies to fight one another. I feel like GW would have had a much stronger setting if all the realms were just layered on top of the Old World.

      • Hagwert

        Good point…I think the lizardmen of Lustria did have something a bit like that as a plot device to bring them into the Old World battles to counter their geographical isolation. Didn’t they sometimes appear in stone circles in places like The Empire and Brettonia ?

  • Marco

    Long live Warhammer Fantasy and the Old World! Long live Mordheim!!