Thursday, August 20, 2009

Millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror

One of the more interesting announcements is from Fantasy Flight Games and Warhammer Roleplay 3rd Edition. When the first press releases and photo emerged many Warhammer fans were in shock. Their beloved game has been twisted into a board game! With a MSRP of $100!

I have never played Warhammer Role-play but I respect it's achievements and appreciate the classic adventures of the line. I have several friends who just love it. Turning this into a boardgame made no sense and guaranteed to alienate the older fans.

Well it turns out not quite to be the case. A trickle of actual play reports are coming out. The big difference with Warhammer Roleplay 3rd edition is that instead of charts and stat lines in the rule books nearly everything is in a card format. Just about everything has been put on a card. Take damage pull a wound chart. Take a critical hit flip it over.

In short it is Judges Guild's Dungeon Tac Cards on steroids. "It all happened before and will happen again" indeed.

In all seriousness this may pan out for Flight Flight. They make expensive german style boardgames already. So their company fans probably won't balk at the price. Plus the biggest disadvantage of MMORPG is that you don't get to touch or play with anything. Hence the enduring popularity of boardgames and miniatures. By going component heavy they set themselves apart.

Aside from the high price the biggest problem I see with this approach is durability. You have to take real good care of the cards. ALL of the cards. Lose the wrong thing and your game is hosed. This comes from owning dozens of wargames and a few card based accessories for RPGs.

But cards can be more useful than a book or a chart. I love the Battle Damage Cards I got for Star Fleet Battles. They make resolving damage far less of a chore. Although I have to keep them in a locked strongbox so I don't lose even one. I created my own monster stat cards for D&D 4th edition and that has worked out great for the few times I ran the game.

This should be interesting to follow.


DMWieg said...

the 3rd Edition base set comes in a giant box which contains four books and about 300 cards and 36 dice, enough for three players and a GM. The set will come out by the end of the year and retail for $99.95; additional sets can be purchased to incorporate more players

I just threw up in my mouth.

"Dude, can I play in your WFRP game?"

"As long as you buy your own expansion!"

Robert Conley said...

From reading the post and others around the net. I think what happening is that they give you enough sets of cards to handle 3 players + GM. You can have more but then you have to fall back to recording stuff on paper.

DMWieg said...

@Rob- That makes me feel a little better. From the way they phrased it, it sounded like pay-to-play for a fourth player. (Heck, I think my WFRP2 game had six)