My best friend, Rev Derek, has been running us through the Starter Set for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (4th Edition) recently and today I got to roll up my own character. We’ve been using the pre-gens but I much prefer to have my own character so it’s a big positive step forward. I thought I would offer my initial reaction to the game more generally.
It’s worth saying I was always a big fan of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I played the 1st Edition and helped playtest the 2nd Edition, not to mention having an adventure I co-wrote with my friend Ian published by Games Workshop (GW) back in the day. I worked for GW until 2006 and always enjoyed Warhammer as a game and the world as a setting.
My first impressions of 4th Edition are mixed. It’s recognisably Warhammer and the rules are similar to the original in many ways. That said, there are some weird things that bothered me as we started playing, such as the pre-gen wizard Ferdinand being functionally useless as a wizard and more effective as a scythe-wielding fighter.
Rolling up my character this afternoon, I was amused to see the XP bonuses awarded for taking the random roll of the dice over making a choice while creating your hero. I just rolled randomly and took the +120XP to spend on advancements. Thus, I have a Human Hunter named Henryk who seems perfectly adequate as a starting character.
The book needs a good editorial pass and would really benefit from any sort of proof-reading. For a £45 core rulebook, I expect better than obvious typos and some ropey phraseology. The organisation of the book is a little illogical too but maybe that’s just how my brain works.
I miss the “career exit paths” from 1st Edition but I suppose the trend in modern gaming is towards having any character of any type you like with no restrictions. I just liked the flavour it gave to the game. But it’s a minor thing, really.
I’m grateful for the chance to play Warhammer and be a player – thanks, Rev D – and I am looking forward to seeing how horrendously Henryk will die. He is, of course, doomed because the priest said so: “From beneath cometh the beast.”