Before Grimdark, George R R Martin et all was a thing, there was …
Warhammer – and specifically Warhammer Fantasy Role Play (WFRP) that fleshed out the Old World which was the setting for Games Workshop’s Fantasy battle game. WFRP portrayed a world much like late medieval Europe which was dirty, deadly and dark – with the corruption of chaos lurking hidden within the normal society – evoking an atmosphere similar to the paranoia of the witch crazes of the 15th/16th centuries in Europe.
Adventures such as Shadows over Bogenhafen cemented the reputation of WFRP as something more sophisticated and “realistic” than the dungeon bash D&D fare available during the 1980s. It was more a mish-mash of a Fantasy RPG and Call of Cthulhu.
And it was bloody brilliant!
Soon to be released is a 4th edition of this great RPG – and the new publishers, Cubicle 7 have promised to take the game back to its roots.
I can’t wait!
Here I’m going to collate and summarise the sketchy information we have so far about the new edition of WFRP.
A lot of assumptions have been made about this, but I don’t think anything concrete has been announced yet – it will be the Old World, we know that, but I don’t think they have given any indication what the chronology will be with vis a vis events such as Storm of Chaos or the End Times.
Most people are assuming before End Times, or at least flexible.
We have had some hints about this – Dominic McDowall, Cubicle 7 CEO has said that they are huge fans of 1e and 2e, so that should please older fans of WFRP who would like to see it go back to its roots. They have also indicated that they have given the system more of an overhaul than first planned:
“The initial plan was to make some small updates to the awesome second edition, and that would mean we would be able to release the game in 2017. We’re all huge fans of the first and second editions of WFRP, and we wanted to take the game back to those roots.
“When I got into the guts of the game I started seeing more opportunities to add in some of the things we’ve learned over the years. This more creative direction meant a longer development phase. Games Workshop are extremely supportive of us taking the time we need to make WFRP Fourth Edition the very best game it can be, and so that’s what we did. I’m very excited about the way things have come together!”
We also know that one of the old writers for WFRP, Graeme Davis, has been brought back on board to do a new version of the Enemy Within campaign for 4th edition – a kind of director’s cut.
But they have also promised there will be new material as well.
Initial products will be a Starter Set and a Rulebook – cover art has been release for both, and they have also appeared in a distributor’s catalogue – with USD pricing (image from Lance Anderson on the WFRP 4e Facebook group):
Plus we know there is a new version of the Enemy Within campaign being worked on as well for all the nostalgic old timers (me included!) No more details though on that.
The two cover images released so far are for the Starter Set and the Rulebook. The rulebook image is certainly an homage to 1st edition, whereas the Starter Set strikes me as something that might appeal to fans of games such as Vermintide, so perhaps they’re trying to appeal to a new market of Warhammer Fantasy fans here? That can only be a good thing. I’m not sure if I love the artwork yet – it looks a bit too bright and cartoony for me. I also wonder if the archetypal hero characters displayed will give players the wrong idea about WFRP – where are the rat-catchers and artisan apprentices? Although having said that those mundane characters never appeared on the WFRP 1e cover either! WFRP 1e ended up having more of a pathetic aesthetic than perhaps the cover artwork indicated.
Very possibly at UK Games Expo between 1st and 3rd June 2018 – the organisers have announced that it will be launched – see this video about the show.
Although there’s not much information, I’m excited to see what the game will look like and also to read people’s opinions as well over at the Warhammer Role Play 4th Edition Facebook Group.
New Teaser image published today (2nd May 2018) so including that as well as the Featured image at the top – previous image below. Looks like other careers are getting a mention!