Welcome back, and time for us to get down and dirty by making a new character for Warhammer Fantasy!
Character creation in WHFRP is broken down to the following steps:
- Class and Career
- Skills and Talents
Picking a Species
In Warhammer Fantasy, players have a choice of 5 Species to choose from: Human, Dwarf, Halfling, High Elf and Wood Elf.
Alternately, they can also opt to roll instead and accept whatever the fates give them. Doing so awards the character with extra experience points. I found this hilarious, as accepting randomness is now rewarded with a little bit of a carrot to make you feel better if you end up with something you didn’t expect to play.
In Warhammer having some really silly builds is part of the fun. It’s a neat mechanic, and in respect for the designers putting it in, I’ll go all in and work with the dice rolling. Moments later, I’m 20 XP richer, and playing a Human
Class and Career
The core of Warhammer characters lie in their Class and Careers. These represent the social strata and occupation of your characters. Like in the first example, I’m going to go and roll for this one just for the heck of it.
It turns out that my character belongs to the Courtier Class, with Servant as an occupation. Also that’s an extra 50XP as well.
Warhammer Fantasy has one of the longer statblocks in a game, and most of them are randomly determined if you want the most experience. There are other options, from rolling and assigning freely among the stats to a point buy system that nets no free experience.
After a fair bit of rolling, my character has:
- Weapon Skill 29
- Ballistic Skill 32
- Strength 30 (+1)
- Toughness 30 (+4)
- Agility 33
- Initiative 26
- Dexterity 36
- Intelligence 25
- Willpower 26
- Fellowship 28
- Wounds 8
- Fate 3
- Resilience 3
- Movement 4
In addition to this, I’ll have to come up with a Motivation to be the source of my character’s Resilience. Looking at the book, I’ll stick to “nurturing” in the sense that my human character is something of an Alfred that looks after his fellow adventurers.
Finally Career Advances take place here, so I’m looking at the Servant Career and decide to up my Strength and Stamina with my 5 advances.
Skills and Talents
Moving on, we’re going to be picking Skills and Talents for our character. This takes place in 2 phases: Species and Career.
As we rolled a Human character before, we end up with the following package
Skills: Animal Care, Charm, Cool, Evaluate, Gossip, Haggle, Language (Bretonnian), Language (Wastelander), Leadership, Lore (Reikland), Melee (Basic), Ranged (Bow)
Talents: Doomed, 3 Random Talents
Random Talents are rolled in an accompanying table, and I end up with the following: Perfect Pitch, Very Resilient and Coolheaded.
A very strange combination, but hey, that’s what the dice say.
At this point I have 3 Skills to gain 5 Advances each, and 3 Skills to gain 3 Advances each. I’ve decided to grab the following:
Melee (Basic) 5
Ranged (Bow) 5
This career isn’t the most glamorous one, but it does give me the following skills to choose from:
Menial – Silver 1
Skills: Athletics, Climb, Drive, Dodge, Endurance, Intuition, Perception, Stealth (Any)
Talents: Beneath Notice, Strong Back, Strong-minded, Sturdy
Trappings: Floor Brush
To this I get 40 Advances to spend on the skills (to a maximum of 10 per skill) and pick a single Talent.
I’m pretty happy with the Skills they handed the character honestly, so I’ll be distributing 5 points to each of them for a nice, well rounded character. I’m also picking Strong-minded as a Talent.
At this point, well gather up the trappings of the character. These include the items from the character Class and Careers as well as starting money.
As a member of the Courtier Class, our human has Courtly Garb, Dagger, Pouch containing Tweezers, Ear Pick, and a Comb. Add to that our Floor Brush from the Servant Career and 1d10 silver shillings based on his Status Tier.
Finally we flesh out the rest of the details of the character. This includes his name (Anders), physical features (which can be chosen or rolled) and their Ambitions in life.
An interesting component here is that once you’re done setting down your personal ambitions, you’re also meant to work out how your party works together and their goals as well. This is really handy as WHFRP does tend to come off as a strange joke at times “A rat catcher, a servant, and a laywer all walk into a bar…” so having this sort of cohesion at least makes it easier to figure out what people are doing together.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game’s 4th Edition retains many of the classic elements of Character Creation from older editions, but I can’t shake the feeling that the mechanics themselves are starting to get an awful long in the tooth. While I don’t doubt that the game can be fun, it does feel a little bit too complex for a quick and easy game.
But if the players are committed and don’t mind a bit of old-timey mechanics, then it shouldn’t be a problem at all.