WHFRP 3rd Edition Seminar by Jay Little

Yesterday I learned about this video seminar and headed over to the FFG site to watch it. It consists of five videos each about 5 mins in length in which Jay Little, Senior RPG Developer for WHFRP at FFG, talks about the upcoming game.

Screenshot from WHFRP Seminar video

Alas watching the videos has just reinforced my earlier impressions of the game. Although I admit they have a few interesting ideas, I think that they should have sticked to the classic system instead of doing a whole new thing. Especially the introduction of custom dice and a lot of cards, markers, etc. and other boardgamey stuff and the focus on the more "heroic" classes is IMHO a step in the wrong direction.

What are your thoughts on these videos? Are you now interested more or less in this upcoming game? Did they do a good job of giving you an overview of things to except?

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

11 thoughts on “WHFRP 3rd Edition Seminar by Jay Little”

    1. A retro-clone would be cool in the long run, especially since you could probably use the WHFRP 1st and/or 2nd Edition rules for games in other grim & gritty fantasy setting. If you run it without magic (which is easily done) you could use it for a campaign inspired by the Solomon Kane stories for example.

      And guess what: it seems that this post caused the loss of another subscriber. Just a few minutes after this post went live, Feedburner informed me that someone unsubscribed from my feed. 🙁

    2. There is already a Warhammer retro-clone in the works. It’s called ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG. It’s over at GrimAndPerilous.com

  1. Hi dear WHFRPG community,

    If you just "waste" your energy into making a retro clone then

    you will only get a copy of the actual rules without much content.

    BUT: If you setup an Open Source Project under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0(*) license then you can with all members of the Warhammer community even write community-sanctioned OldWorld-Source-Books (using even official names and words because the license makes it clear that it is a community thing for fun not for profit).

    I really do not know why the fans are not taking this road to write themselfs their much needed source books and share and have fun with these?

    Every tool to produce professional looking documents/books and even printings are in the reach of a private person.

    Make it clear in the WH RPG community which infos on which parts of the world is needed and then begin to write down section for section all the infos about it. If there are 10 members who write

    1 page per week you will get a 300 page book in somewhat 6 months. Great and perfect!

    It is in the hand of the fans if WHFRPG v2 will live on or not.


    001 bits for this

    (*)This license guarantees that the product stays in the non-commercial space and can be used and modified by everyone in the community http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
    FFG and GW cannot allow products which could be commercialy used but this license does not allow it. But a community product they cannot stop and this license makes it possible.

    1. Sure and then you get sued by GW for copyright infringement. Dream on, l33t_rPg-h4ck3r. You can't just take someone else's stuff, release it under CC and everything is fine, even if you claim doing it for non-profit. I think you'll have to learn a lot about copyright laws, young padawan…

  2. I have to agree, Stargazer. I did not go in with high hopes. I watched all 5 videos of the presentation, and with each segment it only reinforced my fears.

    Every time the FFG rep showcased another boardgame-like component or mechanic to that would "facilitate story-telling" or "increase ease-of-play" had me asking "why?". WFRP 1st or 2nd edition is not hard to learn. It is not hard to keep track of what your character knows, or what his skills are and what they do. The game (especially 2nd edition) is mostly percentile-based. It doesn't get any easier than that.

    Two notes (of the many that I could make) – the point of the stance meter seems dubious. So I adjust this thing every time I want my character to be more cautious or aggressive when performing an action? What if I forget in the midst of actually roleplaying? It seems like a good way to break immersion to deal with game mechanics. And the second note – I'm not sure how a "tension meter" is going to get two players who are bickering out-of-character to stop bickering. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that is what the rep said it could be used for.

  3. Dear Stargazer,

    If my proposal to the community to write their own books are so "dangerous", then

    a) Why do you think that FFG and/or GW would look to the other way if the community writes a retro-clone? From your answer I read your assumption that FFG/GW would sue a community written source book about some parts of the Old World out of the universe while doing nothing about a copy of the v2 system.

    b) We are discussing here the consequences for the community and what the community can do against these consequences. Why do you think that the community – where you can read that many menbers have most of the books especially the rules book – needs some copy of the rules – aka a retro-clone – but do not need the – often in the threads mentioned and not yet released – source books?

    The D&D retro clone movement in cloning/copying/whatever the original rules books – and what other than rules books are the OSRIC/LL/BFRPG documents ? – was somewhat successful because the original books are only in the hands of years old fans.

    The WHFRPG rules book is somewhat fresh and most of the people discussing v3 are those who have the rules book but they all "scream" for some not yet released source books – about exotic places of the Old World -.

    A retro clone does not makes sense but a clear communicated project that states that its goal is not to violate some rights but just give the community something freely what they wish – source books and maybe a super adventure – would be THE resource to make v2 live longer.

    Don't you think?

    The above mentioned CC license is a proven artifact to clearly state that someone does not wish to put his finger in some given business but only wants to create some resource for the internet world.

  4. A retro-clone is possible to pull off mostly because you can't copyright game rules (at least not in the US). And especially in the case of OD&D this is even easier to do because of the OGL. Everything you need to recreate the original D&D is in the system reference document.

    I think it might be possible to create a retro-clone of WHFRP using the aforementioned copyright loophole. But I have to admit I wouldn't consider doing something like that because I know how defensive GW is about their stuff.

    But I think that someone could pull off a retro-clone if he knows enough about copyright law to avoid being targeted by GW.

    Using their trademarks and putting a book with the descriptions of the Warhammer World together is a totally different beast. I think they would probably tolerate a wiki, like Lexicanum for WH40K but if you work on a RPG project bundled with their Warhammer World, you are inviting desaster.

  5. And I know who the CC license works. But you can't use the CC license if you don't have the copyright. And in the case you mentioned you are using GW's intellectual property. So the least you get is a cease-and-desist letter.

    A lot of fan projects ended that way.

    A retro-clone of the rules (btw, 1st edition is over 20 years old) is IMHO only possible if you avoid claiming compatibility and don't use any of the trademarks.

  6. Ups, I really apologize to have binded your time with my comments.

    I really did not know that GW was or even is some TSR like beast of a company – special attack: super lawyer -.

    I was only somewehat optimistic that the fandom could breath some life into v2 even after v3 is published. NOW I can more and more understand the tears of the fandom. 🙁

  7. Have you ever heard about the WH40K fan film Damnatus (http://www.damnatus.com/)? A group of fans put a lot of money and effort into a WH40K fan movie but they weren't allowed to even show it to someone for free.

    And that happened to other projects as well. GW is one of the companies that more than once used lawyers against their fans.

    Don't get me wrong, I would love the community to breath some life into WHFRP 2nd Edition after FFG and GW decided to let it die, but I don't think it will happen. The risk getting sued is just too high.

    I think the chance of seeing some retro-clone is a bit higher, but everyone who tries to pull it off should have a copyright lawyer on his payroll, just in case.

    And by the way, l33t_rPg-h4ck3r, the next time please use a more serious name and use your real email adress when posting comments here. For a moment you came across like a troll.

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