Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4e – Character Statistics Preview

In this article, we are going to have a look at the information presented in a preview by Cubicle 7 about the Character statistics the new version of WHFRP is going to be using.

Before I get into discussing what I think about them, here is a list of the stats and a brief description, as given by Cubicle 7 about what they represent in the game.

  • Weapon Skill (WS) – close-quarters fighting ability
  • Ballistic Skill (BS) – ranged fighting ability
  • Strength (S) – physical strength
  • Toughness (T) – hardiness and healthiness
  • Initiative (I) – speed of thought, reaction, and awareness
  • Agility (Agi) – coordination and natural athleticism
  • Dexterity (Dex) – ability to perform delicate manual tasks
  • Intelligence (Int) – powers of thought, analysis, and understanding
  • Willpower (WP) – strength of mind and determination
  • Fellowship (Fel) – ability to influence and befriend others

First of the stat line doesn’t look that different to the other versions of WHFRP which is a good thing, and Cubicle 7 has the following to say about the Characteristics in general:

“Each of these Characteristics has a numerical value, along the same general scale as those used in the first and second editions of the game. That said, as WFRP4 has no upper limit, some nasty creatures have Characteristics soaring significantly higher than 100! Whatever the number, the first or ‘tens’ digit of each Characteristic is its bonus value, which is used in a variety of different ways, including limiting Talents and defining spells, and determining Wound loss in combat.”

This is good news, it’s interesting to see there won’t be an upper limit, making for some interesting interaction down the line I’m sure, I just wonder if players can eventually get to the same stats and what it takes to get you there.

The tens digit as a bonus is also something that has been done in other d100 (d%) systems before including Dark Heresy, and in my opinion is something worth keeping on in the rules as it makes the characteristics even more useful and important to a character, and player!

They go on to say this about skills:

“Characteristics are used as the basis for your Skills. Much like second edition, skills come in two kinds, basic and advanced. Everyone has access to basic Skills, but advanced Skills can only be used if you have learned them, for example as part of your career.”

I am glad they are keeping basic and advanced skills, as they are the foundation of the career system, which is one of the things that makes WHFRP a great system.

The next extract from the preview explains, why they have included three different statistics for the same style of characteristic, Dexterity, Agility and Initiative:

“You’ll note that we have Dexterity and Agility — why both? Those familiar with RPGs will have seen those terms used interchangeably. Dwarfs are a great example for why we wanted to include each as a discrete Characteristic. Dwarfs are known for their exquisite works of craftmanship rather than for being flexible acrobatics, and we believed supporting that difference was important, allowing Dwarfs to make intricate machines, jewellery, and artefacts, but not have a natural flair for dance.

So we used Dexterity to reflect manual dexterity, leaving Agility to define nimbleness of the body. Similarly, we wanted to differentiate between speed of body and speed of mind, so we have both Agility and Initiative. Agility is used for tests involving dodging, dancing and similar movements of the body. By comparison, Initiative is used for perceiving, reacting and intuiting what’s happening in the world around you.“”

This makes perfect sense to me, and from a character point of view gives a better way to customise your characters. There is no reason why your thief cant be great at pickpocketing, disabling traps, picking locks and general slight of hand, without needing to be a lithe cat burglar type, I for one can’t wait to play an overweight conman and swindler!

The initiative stat also makes sense, this would traditionally be a separate combat characteristic in other games, but including it in the basic stat line helps to keep everything together on the character sheet and makes it easy to find during play.

Let me know what you think about the new statline, and the reasons they have given for including the stats they have given. Is there anything you think is missing or you would have liked to see, from the previous editions that is missing?

See you on the Flip Side

Andy @ DMB

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