top of page

What to Expect with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in Singapore and Beyond

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

What’s Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP)?

For many, Warhammer evokes images of space marines or Henry Cavill’s chiseled jawline. But while its arguably more popular counterpart Warhammer 40K takes place in space, Warhammer fantasy takes place in a…. You guessed it! Fantasy setting.

While Warhammer has its origin as a war game, WFRP is actually a completely different beast! Over the past few decades, players have told countless stories and played through some of the most beloved campaigns in TTRPG history through WFRP.

So what makes this game so special and what are you in for if you decide to give this a shot?

It’s based heavily on the real world!

The setting itself is highly reminiscent of the age of the Holy Roman Empire. Many of the human nations are very similar to locations in Europe.

The brave knights of Brettonia are reminiscent of the chivalry and knighthood of the French, Tilea a region clearly inspired by Italy has a bustling port of trade and mercenaries just like Venice, and of course, the pious Empire of man is strongly suggested to be a reflection of the Holy Roman Empire.

For many players, this fantasy setting may feel more familiar and less otherworldly due to its strong similarities to our world at least in its geography and cultural makeup. However, this also makes the world feel a lot more grounded at least as much as a fantasy setting can be!

You play as regular people

In games like Dungeons and Dragons you play heroic and adventurous heroes capable of inhuman feats and rising to any challenge, but in WFRP, you’re just playing regular people.

You’re not the son of an exiled prince or a half-demon from another dimension, you’re a lawyer, or a beggar, or a nun, and the list goes on! Many adventurers in this setting turn out to be incidental adventurers, forced into the lifestyle through their’s life’s circumstances or driven by some kind of personal quest or mission.

Part of the game is going to your regular job, keeping up with appearances, and living in this setting instead of just seeing it as a playground. If you’re looking for a more grounded roleplaying experience with some adventures, this one’s for you.

Fewer dungeons and dragons more investigations and exploration

While the setting has its fair share of dungeons, dragons, and other monsters, many of the adventures are centered around mysteries and investigations.

The occasional dungeon crawl is few and far in between and typically reserved for later in the game when you have enough experience in your career to face the many threats this world has to offer.

Instead, you’ll often find yourself investigating mysterious happenings in the empire that can often be traced back to the many cults of chaos, or other destructive and ruinous forces that lie within the Empire’s borders and beyond…

Many D&D players come into WFRP expecting a more “grimdark version” of the game only to realize a couple of hours in that they are playing something more akin to Call of Cthulhu.

It’s not that “Grimdark”

WFRP is notorious for its brutality and is often seen as a “grimdark” type of game - a very serious and dark setting.

That’s not really the case anymore, at least not for the latest edition of the game, 4th edition. In WFRP, there are currencies you can spend to help you perform rerolls, remove certain conditions, and even straight-up deny death (at least for a short while). Although some of these currencies are rarely refreshed, fortune and resolve are regularly refreshed in between adventures to help with your rerolls and to remove devastating conditions that you may incur.

It’s also not an overly serious setting! Although it deals with many themes and tropes you’d see in a grimdark setting, there’s also a surprising amount of humor to be had. Humor tinged with cynicism, but humor nonetheless.

It also has some of the most interesting NPCs I’ve experienced in any TTRPG!

It’s not your typical high-magic setting

Magic in WFRP is dangerous and can often prove to be the gateway to malicious and demonic forces. As a result, it is heavily regulated and enforced. Witch hunters prowl the streets pouncing at a whiff of heresy and practitioners of magic legal or not could face their wrath.

You’re not going to find lots of magic traps or magic broomsticks in random stores here. And while playing a wizard can be very fun and give you access to powerful magic, it is unpredictable and can cause some unintentional damage.

Great rules, but rules nonetheless

I’ll be the first to admit that WFRP is not the easiest system for beginners to pick up. There are plenty of rules to get used to and options you can choose from.

Before I played WFRP, I was very against the idea of crunchy rule sets. But the more i read into WFRP’s rules, the more I realized how wrong I was.

Many of the optional rules in the system aren’t really there for balance or for gameplay reasons, they are there to give the players options and make them feel more connected to the reality of the setting! It’s about immersion!

There are rules for trading on a barge, running your own business, siege warfare, scavenging armor, pub games, etc…. The list is long, but the rules are actually fun and give players a lot of flexibility.

For example, characters that aren’t accustomed to combat can help their team members during a violent confrontation by using their other skills to create opportunities and advantages for their teammates.

Try Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in Singapore and beyond

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is one of my favorite systems because of the immersion it provides, the feeling of living in a living breathing world my players are a part of, and the strong setting rooted in history and lore.

70 views0 comments


bottom of page