By - February 27, 2013 - 4 Comments

Warhammer Wednesday #2: WFRP 101B

Core book cover.

Core book cover.

Last week we began by talking about the 2 defining characteristics of WFRP: a grim setting & one that is quite perilous.  The suggestion was that DMs can use these qualities for their own games whether to add a healthy dose of realism or just for something fresh. Within the comments, it was suggested that Dungeons & Dragons already is both grim & perilous enough.  While it is true that some settings, such as Dark Sun are well, darker than the typical campaign world, the only world that truly can match the same depth of despair that WFRP possesses is Fantasy Flight Games relatively unknown Midnight Campaign Setting.  Basically, imagine Lord of the Rings if Sauron won & the good guys were essentially reduced to pitifully inadequate bands of resistance fighters eking out a miserable existence.

As bleak as Midnight is, its a vacation spot compared to the literal hell on earth that will happen to the Warhammer World once the forces of Chaos inevitably triumph.  Because the polar Warp Gates are constantly expanding- combined with the easily corruptible nature of Mankind makes the eventual victory of the Dark Powers easily assured.  The same sort of cataclysmic destiny is what Fate will befell those dealing with the Cthulhu Mythos.  The Cosmic Entities are too intelligent (albeit in an alien way), powerful, & simply have too many foolish followers to fail.

So while there may indeed be some dark aspects to both Greyhawk or forgotten Realms, neither can seriously match the ticking Doomsday that games like WFRP or CoC have.  if you can include some fatalistic elements + darken your game’s atmosphere up occasionally, you’ll go a long way towards making your games more ‘Rated M for Mature.’

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Written by MythicParty

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  1. Gash-ren says:

    Ah, the Warhammer 1st edition… Haven’t seen that cover for a loong time… Some fond memories.

  2. Darkwarren says:

    But a lot of campaigns have a Doomsday scenario. The problem is that most D&D campaigns end in victory (even though a few PC’s might die along the way). A lot of the Warhammer or Cthulhu stories are short stories where the protagonists can die (or at least fail miserably). The threat of failure and permanent death is what adds to this grim atmosphere.

  3. Fullovstars says:

    Did they ever re-release the ‘Death on the Reich’ series of adventures?

  4. Fullovstars says:

    Sorry, just checked. The enemy within campaign. Had it a few decades ago but lost it somewhere along the way. great campaign.

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