This is a dark age, a bloody age, an age of daemons and of sorcery. It is an age of battle and of death, and of the world’s ending. Amidst all the fire, flame and fury it is a time, too, of mighty heroes, of bold deeds and great courage.
Those words usher readers to the first page of every Warhammer fantasy novel, and clearly establish the tone. Though the world is ending, and though every odd is stacked against you, maybe the tide can be turned, maybe the good can hold out for one more day, and maybe, just maybe, the inevitable isn’t as inevitable as it seems. Heroes are needed like never before.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay‘s second edition casts you as those heroes, rising up from occupations like rat-catcher, peasant, and various forms of rabble and rabble-rouser to become holy knights, vampire hunters, or saints. Rather than classes, the system takes player characters through interconnected webs of occupations, all of which come with their own trappings, connections, and plot hooks.
This edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has become one of my group’s go-to games. There’s very little else like it. Between its Renaissance-inspired setting, the depth and sheer fun of its systems, and the unique player options and opportunity for roleplay, it’s one of the best games we’ve played.
What it Does Well: Player characters are exceptionally powerful, and even starting characters have the potential to steamroll enemies. But the enemies are equally as powerful. Players are encouraged to find ways to distract and stop their foes, preventing their actions, while they strike. It leads to an interesting, push and pull that encourages player immersion, thought, and agency.
What Makes it Unique: Magic! In this edition, magicians can cast as often as their components allow. But there is a cost. If they roll a double (or triple, or so on) on their magic role, the Chaos Gods take notice of them and send a nasty effect their way. This can run from the humorous to the dangerous, including a player being briefly commanded by a daemon.
The Game is Best For: Players seeking a grim world of perilous adventure, a comprehensive combat system taking the best from the connected wargame, and one of the best magic systems in tabletop gaming.
Where to Find it? You can find it in PDF at DriveThruRPG.
Featured Image: DriveThruRPG
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