Saturday, July 2, 2011

B/X WFRP: A Delicious Alphabet Soup

Chris over at the far-too-infrequently-updated Vaults of Nagoh today revealed what he's been slavishly tinkering with of late. And it's a thing of beauty, one of those great "only in the blogs" contributions to the collective braintrust that is the OSR: a Red Box D&D-Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay hack.

A quick perusal of the (almost) complete rules and it looks like Chris has a winner on his hands. Plus, in the process of explaining why he felt the need to blend these particular chocolates and peanut butters, he provides one of the best summations of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay I've ever read:
Whisper it (that fanboys may not hear and descend a-squealing), but for all the charm of its skewed-familiar 16th century milieu and the lurking horror of Chaos, Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play was little more than a modcop of classic Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, our beloved WFRP was yet another ‘fix D&D’ fantasy heartbreaker, albeit one which had the clout of the biggest name in British gaming behind it. Whole chunks of the system were lightly disguised D&D mechanics adapted to a roll-under d% system, and many setting elements not gleefully ripped off from Tolkien, Leiber or Moorcock were already established D&D tropes by the time WFRP was published.
But that's ok. Indeed, that's part of why all right-thinking people – Brits, Italians and Poles especially – love WFRP. To paraphrase a better man than I: we took an American invention, soaked it in a witches' brew of Bosch, Durer and Doré, Mervyn Peake and Tom Sharpe, Blackadder, The Young Ones, pints of bitter, cheap weed, Iron Maiden and The Damned, and then played the hell out of it.
Brilliant. After years of intensive therapy I've largely cured myself of that Gamer ADD-driven urge to play this now, but I'm having a hard time fending this one off. Kudos, Chris!
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