A few weeks ago I posted on making the Read/Write skill interestingly useful, but that just raises the question of language skills in general. Tim Eccles’s article on this topic in Warpstone #19 is excellent on the historical and linguistic implications of what we knew about (then-)canon, but this post, like the last one, is going to concentrate more on the in-game practicalities of the skills. Because, like with Read/Write, the exclusivity of the language skills may work in favour of flavour, so to speak, but against the kind of communication a game needs to flow:
This is an example of language problems used wonderfully, but unfortunately few of us are Simon Pegg or Edgar Wright!
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming, for a bit of promotion…
That’s too strong a word, since I’m not involved with this KS other than as a backer, but I think it must be of interest to anyone here reading about WFRP or Zweihänder. It’s a Kickstart for a, “green-hued, dark-fantasy, old-school mini-setting and bestiary set in a twisted middle-England.”
Here’s the video (warning: dubstep, but please don’t hold that against the project):
I’ve always had a bit of an issue with WFRP’s handling of the Read/Write skill, at least in its first and second editions. One of the strengths of the game has always been how it’s rooted its fantastical (and sometimes fantastically silly) elements in a world that felt real. Much of the heavy lifting with the latter was done by the careers system, but it was also observable in the rarity of the Read/Write skill. (Of the six pregens in The Enemy Within, only two were literate, and the Elf wasn’t one of them.) Meanwhile WFRP3 and Zweihänder both fold literacy into a more general education skill, in both cases treated as ‘advanced’. This was a world, the system tells us, dominated by illiteracy; those who could read or write were a privileged few.
But the wisdom of this approach is contradicted by the last 40 years of game design. Generally speaking, GMs now know that it is a bad idea not to give out any information because a lack of leads stalls the game. An entire rules system, Gumshoe, has been designed to address this issue. If the characters can’t read, then that immediately eliminates a major source of clues and leads to keep the action going. The problem cropped up as early as 1e’s intro adventure, The Oldenhaller Contract, itself: the scenario relies on the PCs being able to read the advertisement nailed to the Deutz Elm in Episode 12. So in this post I’m going to look at a few ways a WFRP GM can help keep the game going while still being true to the (pseudo-)historical verisimilitude of the setting.
After the Zweihänder news yesterday I finally got around reinstalling the latest update. And Against all odds everything seems to be working ok again! It seems that I needed to let go to get the groove back on.
This also means that FINALLY I’ll be able to upload and host Emil Heide’s excellent document that lists creatures by slaughter margin for WFRP2. You can download it HERE.
ZWEIHÄNDER fans! We have long stated that we refuse to go to Kickstarter until we had thoroughly play-tested final version of the rules. After 4 years, 8 months and 12 days, we are proud to announce that the final draft for ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG is complete!
ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG will be the first of its kind to market: an inspired version of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, adaptable for any “grim & perilous” campaign set in the familiar Old World, the politically-inspired intrigues of George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice and Fire, the racial tensions of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher, the criminal underworld of Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora, the war-torn adventures set in Glen Cook’s The Black Company and other Renaissance-inspired adventures. Thoroughly play-tested by our internal team across nearly 240 game sessions and three major revisions, we are gearing up to bring it to the public by way of Kickstarter. We intend to use Kickstarter to help raise additional funds for artwork, editing and layout, along with providing you a way to get your hands on a Day One PDF release of the rules! Additionally, we’ll use Kickstarter to help drive pre-orders for print-on-demand softcover and hardcover options with our partners at Lulu.com. We’re aiming for a tentative Kickstarter launch date of July 25th. We are counting on your support to help bring this book to publication. Keep your eyes peeled, and if you haven’t already, please go over to our Facebook page and LIKE it! You can also head over to our forum at Strike to Stun to tell us what you’d like to see in our Kickstarter.
In celebration, we’re releasing a massive 45 page unedited preview of Chapter 10: Grimoire to you. This includes a full narrative and mechanical overview of how Magick works in ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG. You can also peek at a full list of Generalist Petty Magicks, alongside Prayers of the God-Emperor, the Arcana of Pyromancy and their related Elite Professions. Finally, this preview also includes two new Rituals and mechanics for using mysterious Wytchstone to aid in casting spells.
Download the magick preview here!