Review: WFRP3 Player’s and GM Guides

Posted: 11 September 2013 in Reviews

These, I got almost by accident. One of my WFRP3 PDFs starting giving me grief, so I went to RPGNow to re-download it; and couldn’t, because the latest version seems to have been replaced by these.

I’ve reviewed WFRP3 before, so I’ll stick to highlights of changes this time; the core game engine hasn’t changed, as far as I can see.

The Player’s Guide is a 306-page PDF which subsumes the content of the original player’s, magic and divine books, giving you almost everything needed to create and play characters in one book – somebody still needs the GM Guide for wounding, disease and so forth, as that’s where those cards are replicated.

Over half of the 300-odd pages are taken up with representations of the career, talent, action and spell cards, so – finally! – one can play without one table per PC littered with fiddly little bits of cardboard piled on top of a deck of cards. The power recharge mechanic from MMORPGs just doesn’t translate well to tabletop roleplaying, I’m afraid; at least not for me.

The Player’s Guide also contains the new careers etc. from several expansions; everything up to and including Signs of Faith.

The GM’s Guide is a 178-page PDF largely composed of advice on how to run a game, which after 35 years as a GM I don’t really feel I need. The various wound, disease and insanity decks from the full game are represented by tables you can roll on instead. The location cards are represented in text format. There’s a new introductory scenario.

Most of the monster stats are missing, though; you only get the dozen or so you need for that scenario, not the full set. No greenskins, for example. Still, I could run quite a few scenarios with just the basic human NPCs provided. No doubt one or more monster books will be available at some point.

I still find WFRP3 too complex and fiddly for my taste, but my college gaming buddies love it, and who I play with matters more to me than what we play. These PDFs are much better value for me than either the earlier PDFs or the box set I bought purely because I had no other legal way of getting the cards, and you can’t even generate a PC without those.

Overall: 3 out of 5, I guess. I can’t see myself running this, or even mining it for content, but it’s what the gang plays (those of them who aren’t still playing OD&D, anyway) and I like to keep up.


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