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?


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.


FAL General: Happy New Year!

Well, a new year is approaching and I am starting to find time when I’m not working. This means I’m looking forward to another year of gaming, which I have been most fortunate too get done in spades that last couple of years.

This years it’s been mostly the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons, with mixed success from my part but a hell of a ride for the group. We’re picking it up again sometime in January, tackling paragon levels and Revenge of the Giants.

I have also played several games of Citadels over the year. It is a brilliant game, quick to learn and with engaging gameplay. Look forward to an in depth review of this game and Fury of Dracula which I picked up yesterday, sometime soon.

Apart from that the big thing waiting to be tried is of course the third edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. We’re planning on giving it a whirl in January, and with the arrival of The Adventurer’s Toolkit the option of playing a Rat Catcher is once again open … but the players have said they’d rather play a career that does not give me extra incentives to have sewer based adventuring, so we’ll see what they’ll go for in The Ongoing and Spectacular Adventures of the Wilhelms.

And of course, the iAltdorf map will be updated in January.

But until then, have a happy new year!