Sunday, December 23, 2018

Basic D&D Classes as Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1E Career Paths

I've been reading the core rulebook for the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and so far I really like it. Many of the other first edition books seem pretty interesting, too, from what I've skimmed of them, but I've mostly looked at the core rules. I definitely want to run this game when I get the chance.

In the meantime, while I've seen many people emphatically claim that WFRP is not D&D and barely anything like D&D (maybe I'll share my hot take on that topic in the future, but not until I've actually played the game first, of course), I started to ponder certain questions as I studied the character creation and advancement rules.

What would it take to make WFRP characters that were roughly similar to the character classes in Basic D&D? What would it take to model the features of the B/X (or BECMI, or Rules Cyclopedia) character classes in the WFRP career system as closely as possible, without any house rules? What kind of career progression could one use to mimic the feel or flavor of playing a D&D character? This is just the result of my first halting, ill-informed attempt to find out. Some would probably say that even considering "character builds" or "hack-and-slash dungeon crawling" in WFRP is against the spirit of the game, but I thought this was a fun thought experiment, and it's my blog, so whatever.

I'm sure people more familiar with both Warhammer and D&D can poke all kinds of holes in my choices here. For example: as far as I know, all D&D characters are assumed to be able to read, write, swim, ride horses, drive carts, and row boats (among who knows how many other things) competently in the B/X rules, while these skills are not universal in WFRP. It would probably make more sense to use fewer Warhammer careers for each D&D class, and instead fill in the gaps with non-career skills, but first I wanted to see what I could manage without non-career skills. And that's not even getting fully into the differences in spell lists, weapon proficiencies, combat rules, etc. Maybe this is why I want guidelines for converting material between these games so badly.

Anyway, here are some possibilities I've come up with.

  1. Marine or Mercenary or Soldier > Mercenary Sergeant > Mercenary Captain > Free Lance > Templar
  2. Protagonist > Judicial Champion > Templar > Witch Hunter > Free Lance
  1. Wizard's Apprentice > Wizard > higher-level Wizard and/or specialized Wizard
  2. Alchemist's Apprentice > Alchemist
  1. Physician's Student > Initiate > Cleric
  2. Herbalist > Druid > Druidic Priest
  1. Tomb Robber > Fence > Thief > Charlatan > Spy > Assassin
  2. Thief > Thief (Burglar) > Outlaw > Targeteer > Assassin > Charlatan > Spy
  1. Soldier > Tunnel Fighter > Troll Slayer > Giant Slayer
  2. Engineer or Runner > Tunnel Fighter > Sapper > Gunner
  1. Hunter > Scout > Bounty Hunter > Targeteer > Assassin
  2. Outlaw > Outlaw Chief > Highwayman > Duelist > Assassin
Bold = Advanced Career, > = Non-Standard Career Exit

When it comes to D&D's Elf class, I just kind of threw my hands in the air after a while. Maybe someone better versed in the intricacies of WFRP could offer some suggestions?

Bonus Content: LotFP Mascot Career Paths
  • Flame Princess: Noble > Duelist > Assassin > Witch Hunter, plus 4 Non-Career Skills (Identify Undead, Specialist Weapon - Incendiaries, Swim, and either Fire Eating or Demon Lore) = 7,000 exp. to complete
  • Alice: Mercenary > Gunner > Mercenary Sergeant > Mercenary Captain > Judicial Champion > Explorer, plus 4 Non-Career Skills (Chemistry, Game Hunting, Marksmanship, and Swim*) = 7,000 exp. to complete
  • Selena: Squire > Free Lance > Templar > Initiate > Cleric of Myrmidia Level 1, plus 6 Petty Magic spells and 4 Battle Magic Level 1 spells = 7,000 exp. to complete
  • Kendra: Tomb Robber > Gambler > Charlatan > Spy > Assassin, plus 2 Non-Career Skills (Pick Pocket and Specialist Weapon - Fencing Sword) = 7,000 exp. to complete
  • Rhona: Bounty Hunter > Targeteer > Outlaw Chief > Highwayman > Scout > Explorer, plus 6 Non-Career Skills (Fish, Game Hunting, Row, Scale Sheer Surface, Set Trap, and Swim) = 7,000 exp. to complete
  • Étaín: Wizard's Apprentice > Wizard Level 1 > Demonologist Level 1 > Demonologist Level 2, plus 16 Petty Magic spells, all of the Battle Magic Level 1 spells, and all of the Demonologist Level 1 spells = 7,000 exp. to complete
  • Manya: Wizard's Apprentice > Wizard Level 1 > Necromancer Level 1 > Necromancer Level 2, plus 16 Petty Magic spells, all of the Battle Magic Level 1 spells, and all of the Necromancer Level 1 spells = 7,000 exp. to complete
  • Melissa: Physician's Student > Physician > Alchemist's Apprentice > Alchemist Level 1 > Alchemist Level 2 > Alchemist Level 3 (all advances and all but one skill), plus 16 Petty Magic spells and all of the Battle Magic Level 1 spells = 7,000 exp. to complete
Note: For the purposes of calculating the experience point costs of these characters, I assumed that they succeeded on their first attempts regarding all dice rolls needed to gain extra skills in their starting careers, to join the Cleric career, and to gain all non-career skills.
*If Specialist Weapon - Pistol and Specialist Weapon - Blunderbus can be considered one skill (Specialist Weapon - Firearms, as the Skills chapter of the rule book seems to imply), then you can also add Specialist Weapon - Incendiaries with the spare 100 exp.

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