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WFRP 1st edition and why I like it...


Mike Stockin:
WFRP was dark and grim and a successful adventure was one where you did not catch some disease and the reward was a dry bed to sleep in and some fresh bread.

It was not about saving the world, it was not about rescuing the princess, it was about leaving your farm and saying goodbye to tedium and then wondering if you had made the right choice.

It was exploration, questionable ethics, likeable villains, terrible villains, fallible heroes, it was wet and damp, it was a world of hidden foes and political machinations, it was foul and depressing, it was warm ale and mud and it was glorious.

If you got into too many fights and took proper damage from them, even if it did heal later, you could still get emotional damage. Phobias, ticks, all manner of psychosis.

Honestly if done a certain way it was grim, but also doing it that way, the tiniest rays of light and hope could make your day.
Starving, wet, cold, tired, feet aching from walking, boots rubbing your heels raw, sleeping under the cart you are hitching a ride on at night.
Trudging through wet clawing dank forests where the leaves brush against your face like the clammy fingers of dead men, the distant sound of the howls of wolves, wondering at night if the camp fire you managed to keep alight in this cursed constant drizzle will deter the wolves?

Then hearing the squeals of the wolves and suddenly now you are worried about what the wolves are afraid of.

Surviving the night and carrying along the Imperial highways, past the corpses of mutant children nailed to black twisted trees along with the defiled corpses of the parents who tried to shelter them as warnings to others.

Crooked road wardens who demand a tax, and then stalk you from a distance.

Overgrown and dilapidated road side shrines to the old gods who are oft forgotten in favour of Sigmar, the old ways sometimes seen as witchcraft.

Finally making it to your destination, the logging village of Flensburg only to find that beastmen burnt it to the ground four months ago.
It is all too much and now you are coming down with the coughing sickness.

In a world such as this, feeling the sun on your face, finding an inn with warm food and fire, a dry place to sleep, a lock on the door. If you are lucky maybe even a bath, and if you are even luckier, a warm bath.
It is these little things that can be as great a reward as fame and fortune if done well.

Those are my thoughts anyway...

Although I've never played specifically WFRP 1, this is the mood of Warhammer that I like, and have pursued in other roleplaying (RuneQuest, HârnMaster, WFRP 2, and games of my own, although the last 15-20 years have been more lightweight). You described it very well!



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