Wednesday, 24 May 2017

WFRP General: The future of WFRP

So there will be a fourth edition of WFRP. Many years ago, just before WFRPv3 was announced I penned a long post with my thoughts on what I'd do to revive WFRP if I had unlimited funds. I might as well post it now updated to reflect current events, it might give Cubicle 7 some ideas.


What I would do to revive WFRP given unlimited funds

My thinking has turned to the question of what I would do if I had the WFRP license. I actually sat down and gave the topic some thought just days before WFRPv3 was announced. I was aided by the discussion on the forums of Fantasy Flight and RPGnet, where many thought-provoking perspectives were posted. It has now returned to my thoughtosphere.

The first thing I would do was to put together a road map of my plans. Then I'd solicit feedback on this plan from the following people (I've grouped some people together to make it easier to list them):

Liber Fanatica
Official WFRP writers for v1, v2 and v3
Dave Allen
Graeme Davis
James Wallis

If needed, I'd pay Allen, Davis and Wallis for special consultation. I would have to check with Games Workshop as well, but that's a given.

This would be an initial feedback loop, to be able to modify my plans, and to build interest and excitement among influential existing fans. Which I would hope that my plans would do (some people would not be excited at all, I'm sure, but they would be given the opportunity to influence the plans as much as everyone else. If they declined, there would be others to take their places).

The next step would be to do inventory of every published book for WFRPv1, WFRPv2 and WFRPv3. I'd also try to compile information on the best fan material published. The goal of this would be to get the big picture of what is already available for the game.

All this would go into a database. It would be edited if need be, and checked for consistency.

I would already have the right to the offical material, but I would want to secure the rights to as much high quality fan material as possible. I know that GW claims to own it all anyways, but I'd want to buy the rights for going industry rates.

Then I'd start production according to the plan. I'd take a good hard look at EFRPv3 and what they did right, WFRPv2 and what they did right, and at WFRPv1 and what they did right, and I'd work out new/old/improved rules based on that, but keeping the basic system from v1/v2. It would be more like v2 than v1, rules wise, I think, but I'd work with the combat parts to streamline and electrify the combats. I'd have a look at magic as well, but I'm not really sure what I'd do with that.

I have grown to like the WFRPv3 system, and would try to distill mechanics that would fit into the v1/v2 system if possible. 

I'd take the v2 bestiary and Sigmar's Heirs, and smash those together with the core book. One evergreen fat book. Then I'd rewind the timeline to before the Storm of Chaos. This core book I would put out as an open playtest for six months, before making one last revision.

Then I'd produce a lightweight boxed set, a la Mordheim, which combined the iconic grim and gritty WFRP with fast paced action and NPC interaction.

These two products would be released simultaneously. With plenty of adventure support on the web, collected from material already in production.

Then I would revise the v2 Realms books to bring them in line with the revised bumper core book.

Then I'd go on my spending spree and buy up some fan material, like everything Warpstone ever did and re-edit, convert and fix some things up, and release it and new stuff in bi monthly magazines, aimed to being cheap and affordable. All adventures would go up on a support website. I'd buy Blicher's maps and make them official WFRP maps. I'd pay MadAlfred for the research he did.

Then I'd have Graeme Davis collect and revise the original Enemy Within into one big campaign box, with lots of handouts. I'd buy Empire at War from MadAlfred as well, and replace Empire in Flames. I'd have to do something about Rotten in Kislev as well.

Finally I'd commission myself to develop an Altdorf sourcebook, and I'd pay Andy Law to create the megamap of the capital that he has been dreaming of.

I'd start a WFRP web site, with forums for all editions, and official support for my version. I'd create special areas for fan material for the current version AND for material for the other editions, if people wanted to create that. I'd offer templates for creating nice looking PDF-material, and try to recruit people from fandom to help editing and creating the fan material.

Why support several editions? Because v1 and v2 are very similar rules wiese, and stuff from one edition can be used with the other. WFRPv3 fluff can be used as well. The best fan material for v1, v2 and v3 would be converted to my v4 as well.

My strategy would then be to produce low cost support material to keep the core fans happy, and a bumper book once in a while. The starter set, the core book and TEW would be the products I really would want to be the core of my business. Buy those and play, if you continue with other stuff that's fine, but it would be the core that was the core so to say.

I'd probably lose a metric load of money. Which wouldn't make the publishers happy, but I think that my plan would be approved by a lot of fans.


Well, it's a plan. Probably not what Cubicle 7 would be doing.


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