[Let’s Study: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4e] Part 3b: Combat

Welcome back!

Today we’re taking a look at some of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay’s innovations in the combat system.

Melee Attacks

Melee attack rolls are an Opposed Test where both combatants roll their Melee Skills and whoever scores a higher Success Level (SL) Wins. If you win, then you get to score a hit on the loser, and gain 1 Advantage in the process. If your opponent wins, they get +1 Advantage and your turn ends.

Ranged Attacks

Ranged attacks are a basic Ranged Test. Scoring a hit means you deal damage and gain +1 Advantage. Missing means your turn is over.

Hit Locations

True to it’s Grim and Perilous promise, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying has a Hit Location Chart. To speed up play, you simply take the test result of your attack, and flip the numbers, and consult the chart. So an attack roll of 23, becomes a 32, and you can consult the chart to see where the blow lands.

Criticals and Fumbles

Rolling doubles triggers Criticals and Fumbles, depending on whether or not the attack roll was successful. This is one of those occasions where WHFRP goes into loving detail, as you are required to check for hit location, then consult one of many, many detailed charts as to the result of the Critical Hit. These range from a simple “Dramatic Injury” that leaves an impressive scar, to such detailed results like “Decapitated” whose entry reads as:

“Your head is entirely severed from your neck and soars through the air, landing 1d10 feet away in a random direction (see Scatter). Your body collapses, instantly dead. “


You’ve seen a few references to the Advantage rules above, but what is it about? Advantage represents the momentum of combat, and is usually obtained by winning an Opposed test. You can also gain further Advantage by ambushing an opponent or outnumbering them.

Each level of Advantage bestows a +10% bonus on any appropriate combat or psychology tests, but is also lost the moment you fail a roll, take any damage or when combat ends.

I’ve yet to try this out in playtest to see how it actually works, but a +10% bonus per stack certainly motivates the team to do their best to stack the odds in their favor. This kind of behavior is in line with the tone of the game, and I’m pretty happy for it being present

Next up, we’ll be taking a look at the mechanics of Corruption!

If you’d like to check out the game for yourself, it’s over at DriveThruRPG for $29.99

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