Wednesday 26 May 2010

WFRP: Best of the Fans (8)

This time around I'm going to highlight a WFRP fan for the second time. The first time was when he was awarded with a Best of the Fans post for his immensely cool WFRP fan site, Kalevalahammer.

This time around I'm going to give a shout out to Jackdays for his map of Nuln, which he keeps updating and releasing to us fans all over the world. It is a dashing companion to my own iAltdorf project, and fans of any edition is bound to find it very useful if you plan on running a game in Nuln, like e.g. Forges of Nuln.

And remember that the best payback a fan can get is if you give feedback on his work! So get thee hence to a WFRP forum of your choice and start telling Jackdays that his map rocks and pummel him with awesome ideas!


Monday 24 May 2010

WFRP: A Small But Vicious App - iPhone app for WFRPv3 released

In a surprise announcement a couple of days ago Fantasy Flight Games released an iPhone app for WFRPv3. More info can be found here.

It's only a couple of dollars, and I'm downloading it as I write this. I'll be back with a review shortly.


Saturday 22 May 2010

WFRP: The Gathering Storm review at

Recently I laid my hands on The Gathering Storm for WFRPv3. It looks fabulous, but I haven't had the time to look at it thoroughly yet. Some chap at has written an interesting review, though.


Thursday 20 May 2010

Don't Pay the Ferryman

The people of Altdorf enjoy telling ghost stories, both as entertainment and as sincere warnings of the horrors of the unknown. The Niederhafen Pike is one such legend, and this is often accompanied by the fable known as Don't pay the ferryman. The source of this ballad is unknown, but it is easy to imagine that it has some truth to it, given the amount of ferries that cross the Reik. There are bound to be incidents, even if they are more mundane than the legend makes out.

The popular and skilled lute player and folk singer Christoph Von Kleinestadt has followed up on his success at the taverns and bars in the docklands, and has written another catchy tune, inspired by the old legend of the sinister ferryman.

It was late at night on the Volkerweg
Speeding like a man on the run
A lifetime spent preparing for the journey 
He is closer now and the search is on
Reading from a map in the mind
Yes there's the ragged bridge
And there's the boat on the river 
And when the rain came down
He heard a wild dog howl
There were voices in the night - "Don't do it!"
Voices out of sight - "Don't do it!
Too many men have failed before
Whatever you do
Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side 
In the rolling mist then he gets on board
Now there'll be no turning back
Beware that hooded old man at the rudder 
And then the lightning flashed, and the thunder roared
And people calling out his name
And dancing bones that jabbered and a-moaned
On the water 
And then the ferryman said
"There is trouble ahead.
So you must pay me now" - "Don't do it!"
"You must pay me now" - "Don't do it!"
And still that voice came from beyond
Whatever you do 
Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side
Don't pay - the ferryman!
Adolphus Altdorfer
Wellentag, Sommerzeit 20, 2521 IC

Here's the video of the song performed live! It's kind of a silly song, but I love it. Too bad I couldn't find the original video, with De Burgh dressed as a vampire!


Monday 17 May 2010

WFRP: The Winds of Magic

As I'm getting up to speed with what's happening in the WFRP sphere, I noticed that FFG has announced the supplement on magic for WFRPv3.

Read a little bit more about it here.

Sounds cool and all, but the info is still a bit sparse. I'm a bit curious as to how they're going to cram everything hinted at into one of those slim books they use for the rules. The other components will be top notch of course, and it will all look fabulous.

A certainly seems as if FFG has adopted an agressive release schedule, now that they've gotten WFRPv3 on track. We have the core rules, the game master toolkit, the adventurer's tookit, a campaign and extra dice. Quite an achievement, I say.


Saturday 15 May 2010

WFRP: Warforged in WFRP

A while ago a poster on one of the discussion boards I frequent, which one eludes me at the moment ... maybe at ENWorld ... anyway ... a poster asked how to incorporate the Warforged from the Dungeons&Dragons campaign setting Eberron as a player character race in WFRP.

As to be expected when it comes to roleplaying gamers, the poster received some ... not so useful suggestions. But there were some who stepped up to the challenge and tried to find an explanation as to how the Warforged would fit in. I was among those brilliant .. ehm ... chaps who tried to fit a rather alien race concept into WFRP.

To start with, what is a Warforged, anyway? This is what Wikipedia has to say about the subject:

""The warforged are a race of living, sentient constructs, superficially similar to golems. Warforged are composed of a blend of materials: predominantly stone, wood, and some type of metal. In Eberron, they were created by House Cannith in magical 'creation forges' to fight in the Last War, based on technology recovered from Xen'drik. When the Last War ended, they were given their freedom at the Treaty of Thronehold. Though they have free will, whether they have a soul is not known with certainty; they can be resurrected by spells designed to restore human souls to life, but, unlike humans, never remember anything of their experience in the afterlife after such an event.

While they have no biological sex, warforged may adopt a gender role as part of their individual personality. They do not age as the other races do, and it is not known what effects time will have on them. It is generally assumed that, like all living creatures, their bodies must experience degradation over time. Like other races, warforged may take levels in any character class."
So that's the rub. And someone ... Emerikol maybe ... wanted to incorporate this into his WFRP campaign. So how would I do it?

If ... and that's a pretty big "if" ... I would introduce Warforged in my WFRP campaign, I'd make them of dwarf origin, and look into dwarfen belief in ancestor spirits. The Warforged could be reborn dwarf souls, incarnated in metallic bodies to protect the Halls of the Ancestors, and maybe tasked with carrying out dangerous tasks outside the halls. They would be very rare, and most people would mistake them for armoured dwarf warriors.

DaveTheGame chimed in with a great idea:
"That's pretty awesome. You could call them "The Grudgekeepers" and have them inscribed with an ancient grudge in ancient Dwarven, with an eternally preserved Dwarven spirit who keeps that grudge going."

Awesome. The grudgekeepers would be a well kept secret though, and they would rarely venture into civilised parts of the Empire without a dwarven guide to speak to the humans and halflings. Such a guide and a grudgekeeper would make a good backbone for a more traditional party, as they recruit other races and classes to get the grudge dealt with.

A grudgekeeper would be fully armoured at all times if possible, and if not possible, swathed in ancient dwarven leather garbs and a cloak. And a crazy hat and face mask like V in V for Vendetta. In one way, he's the ultimate Grudgekeeper.

"He was horribly scarred in a fire, so he can't show his face without scaring the children".

Alternatively I would go the golem route. That would in WFRP terms mean that an alchemical process was used to bring dead matter to life, and some sort of spark of chaos to give them sentient life. They would be hunted by witch hunters, and would have to hide from the rest of society, unless captured and bound to perform tedious and dangerous work. Read Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett for more inspiration if you go this route.

Well, that's it. I think The Grudgekeeper is a pretty good way of introducing Warforged from D&D into the WFRP world.

Any other race from another game you readers would like to have adapted to WFRP?


Tuesday 11 May 2010

FAL Commentary: Moving out of the comfort zone

Over the last year or so, we've been running a lot of Dungeons & Dragons 4. A lot. This means even Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has taken a back seat to the behemoth the is D&D4, and the most startling thing to me is that I am the DM.

Why is this so startling? My perspective is one based on conflicting experiences.

My favourite RPGs are Call of Cthulhu (any edition) and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (v1 and v2, we haven't tried v3). It's all great fun.

I primarily run these games for my group, and have a somewhat similar style when doing so. Lots of social interaction, investigation, few combats, abstract battles not using minis, event based plot progression and so on.

The kind of adventures where my group chose not to play D&D. That's what I do best. I ran Tomb of Horrors, and it sucked. I ran Iron Kingdoms, and it turned into WFRP.

But the allure of D&D is always there. I've played D&D since 1984, and have fond memories of the Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set opening up outdoor adventuring and exploration on a scale I hadn't seen before. So I was a player in D&D BECM up to level 26, then in Dragonlance and Ravenloft and other classic stuff. Good stuff and bad stuff.

When D&D4 was released, we decided we wanted to try it. One DM bravely took Keep on the Shadowfell and ran us through it. The resulting experience nearly tore our group apart. We couldn't agree on how to play the game, I hated it, and the tactical parts of it were uninteresting to me. Counting squares ... argh! So I said that I would never play D&D4 again. And some said they'd never play any previous edition again, because they loved the elements I hated in D&D4. So no D&D for us.

It was a strange experience. So we went on to Dark Heresy, with another GM. Then there was a shakeup due to working schedules, and we lost our  GM. So what to do ...

I stepped up and ran a WFRP arc that was nigh on perfectly executed both by me and the players. It was loads of fun, and it had everything I love about playing roleplaying games. But it took its toll on me, and when we wrapped up the seven sessions, I was a bit burned out on deep and complex plots. And I wanted to try something different, move out of my comfort zone, to see if I could learn something that made my WFRP games a lot better. Things can always be approved, is my belief.

So I bought Dungeon Delve. We created new PCs. I concocted a flimsy campaign premise, and then we dived into it. Very much focused on tactical combat and character advancement. I was planning on running a few of the delves while we were deciding on what to do next.

Sitting on the DM side of the screen totally changed my opinion of the game. I loved it. And the players loved it. We had had our internal flame war on play styles, expectations and pros and cons and all that, and we emerged with a greater understanding of what we wanted from the game.

The delves segued into Scales of War, and then into Revenge of the Giants. Even though I'm still having trouble adapting my style to that which fits D&D4 best, the players are psyched, and we are chugging along. Before, we would change games every 7 or 8 sessions (we play once a week), but now we soldier on. D&D4 scratches a lot of itches that my players like to have scratched, while still being fun for me to run.

It doesn't play like CoC or WFRP. And for me it shouldn't. I just need to learn or even relearn how to make the game more D&D:ish, and drop some conceits I've adopted from running other games. To make the experience more like what my group thinks of as D&D. It's all possible within the rules, I just have to work a bit harder to bring it to the surface, since I'm entrenched in my primary style of game mastering.

So the short of it. I understand and respect the opinions of those who feel D&D4 is not a game for them. I've been there myself, and I hated the game. At the same time I think I understand the opinions of those who feel D&D4 is their kind of game. That's where I am now. At the same time, if someone said "show me your best game running skills" I wouldn't pick D&D4, instead opting for WFRP.

Strange that, to find conflicting views on the game, all wrapped up in one single gamer.


Monday 10 May 2010

WFRP: Requests for translation

I have over the years received quite a few requests for translation of the iAltdorf map into other languages. French is the most requested language, and I have been in contact with some chaps who had a plan to do the translation, but I lost their e-mails.

So I'm posting this to make a general call out to anyone who wants to translate the iAltdorf map into their own native language. Drop me an e-mail, and I'll send you the files.

What you need is basically Illustrator CS3 or later, or a vector based illustration tool that is compatible with the Illustrator CS3 file format. And a freaking lot of time on your hands ...

Don't underestimate the endeavour, it's a lot of tedious work. Using Find and Replace will get you a long way, but then you will have to manually adjust every single name plaque in there. And there's a lot of them, maybe as many as a thousand ... since all locations are repeated twice.

If you want to give it a shot, you're welcome. Drop me an e-mail, and I'll make the files available to you.


Sunday 9 May 2010

WFRP: A counterpoint review of WFRPv3 at

Idle trawling of the web for information and reactions to the latest offering of WFRP from FFG turned up a few reviews. This one is a counterpoint to the largely positive review I posted yesterday.

Dan DeFazio's capsule review of WFRPv3.

I feel that this review is not as well thought out as the previous one, and when it comes to looking at the setting the reviewer compares WFRPv3 to WFRPv1 as if WFRPv2 didn't exist, instead of noting that v3 actually is a step back from the heavier WFB influences that informed the design of v2.

Still, it is an honest review, and the reviewer clearly states that he prefers WFRPv1, and for that no one can fault him.


Saturday 8 May 2010

WFRP: A comprehensive review of WFRPv3 at

Yesterday I stumbled upon a very comprehensive review of WFRPv3. The review is particularly interesting since the reviewer preferred WRFPv1 over WRFPv2, due to the sparsity of setting info in the latter. I highly recommend reading it.

E. Long's review of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3.

Here is the same reviewer with his comparison of WFRPv1 and WFRPv2.