Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

28 Variants History Edit

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (abbreviated to WFRP or WHFRP) is a role-playing game set in the Warhammer Fantasy setting. Over the years, it has been through a number of phases and different publishers, most related in some way to Games Workshop. The game is currently licensed to Fantasy Flight Games .

The first edition of WFRP spawned a well-known and highly praised campaign known as The Enemy Within. These five episodes were variously bound and collected. The first three episodes generally received the most praise; a rewritten version of the last episode, Empire in Flames, was to be issued by Hogshead Publishing under the title Empire in Chaos, but never saw the light of day.

The second edition focused on new material rather than reprints. A new campaign entitled Paths of the Damned has been followed by standalone adventures, such as Barony of the Damned and Terror in Talabheim, as well as shorter adventures in country sourcebooks (for example Ill Tidings, from Knights of the Grail, the Bretonnia supplement) as well as rules supplements (for example A Brutal Finish, from Realms of Sorcery, the arcane magic supplement).

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay shares the same Germanic, doom-laden background as the Warhammer Fantasy Battle wargame that spawned it. Being a game devoted to individual characters rather than entire armies, WFRP depicts the setting in much closer detail than does its wargame counterpart. This change of focus also transforms WFRP into a more grim and perilous game than WFB.

The primary setting for WFRP is the Empire, a region of the Old World based loosely on the Holy Roman Empire, with a number of baronies, counties and dukedoms fashioned after the fiefs of elector counts and dukes. Other prominent regions include Bretonnia, based on medieval France mixed with strong Arthurian mythology themes; Kislev, based on medieval Poland and Imperial Russia; and the Wasteland, based on the Low Countries. Other lands not explored as thoroughly but still frequently mentioned include the fragmented lands of Estalia and Tilea, fashioned after Spain and the city states of Renaissance Italy respectively, and Araby (a mixture of Arabic Caliphate and Persia); and to lesser extents Cathay (China), Ind (India), Naggaroth (Canada), Ulthuan (Atlantis), Lustria (South America) and the island of Albion, (a mythological British Isles).

While the setting of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay does share traits with other popular fantasy settings (such as Elves and Goblins); chronologically, the Warhammer setting is slightly later than that of most fantasy games, being closer to the early Renaissance era in terms of technology and society. Firearms are readily available, though expensive and unreliable, and a growing mercantile middle class challenges the supremacy of the nobility.

One of the most identifiable features of the Warhammer setting is Chaos, which is not Evil per se. While the forces of Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy Battle are depicted primarily in the form of marauding dark knights and beastmen, Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is an insidious force gnawing at the fabric of society. Secret cults abound among all strata of society, seeking to overthrow the social order or to further their own power. Mutants lurk in the forests outside the great cities, while the Skaven tunnel beneath them.

Magic is widely feared and reviled, and not without good reason. The very essence of magic is derived from and thus corrupted by Chaos, and the practitioners of magic in the Warhammer setting tread a very fine line between death, corruption, and relative safety.

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