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What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:02 pm
by Angel Tarragon
Can anyone describe/explain what makes Warhammer unique? I know that the two systems have some baseline similarities, only what I know is fairly commonly known to anyone that has heard of Warhammer. What are the details that aren't usually overheard that the two have in common or don't have in common?

Re: What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:33 pm
by Havard
Rules-wise they are very different. WH does not have levels. The basic mechanic is rolling d% below your stat.

The setting is fantasy so there are similarities there, but WH is infinetely more gritty with dark british humor. Also, several elements were nicked by the producers of the early Warcraft Games so you will find that WH Orcs, Dwarves resemble those seen in Warcraft etc.

-Havard

Re: What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:04 am
by Tim Baker
Havard wrote:Also, several elements were nicked by the producers of the early Warcraft Games so you will find that WH Orcs, Dwarves resemble those seen in Warcraft etc.
Interesting. I'd never heard that before. Good to know.

Re: What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:15 pm
by Big Mac
Havard wrote:Also, several elements were nicked by the producers of the early Warcraft Games so you will find that WH Orcs, Dwarves resemble those seen in Warcraft etc.
Very interesting. Where did you find out about this? I found out about the origins of the World of Warcraft dances, a while ago. Did you see an article with the origin of the Warcraft races?

Also...what is the "etc"? Did you just mean World of Warcraft, other Blizzard games or computer games in general?

Re: What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:21 pm
by Ashtagon
My understanding is that GW orcs/orks have always been green. Blizzard's Warcraft was originally intended to be a Warhammer tie-in, but early development disagreements led to the tie-in being cancelled, and Blizzard went ahead with serial numbers stripped off.

https://kotaku.com/5929161/how-warcraft ... -saved-wow

Re: What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:55 pm
by agathokles
Interesting, that explains the similarity.

Back to the topic, having just read a bit the Warhammer 2e rules, and in addition to what Havard already mentioned (d% based game with roll under mechanics, no true "classes", grittier setting), I'd add the following:
  • Basic abilities are similar, except that in WH the equivalent of THAC0 or BAB is an ability score.
  • The main progression mechanic in WH is the increase of ability scores, whereas in D&D this is usually secondary (and non-existent before 3e).
  • WH 2e takes some hint from D&D 3e in that Talents are added to the game, replacing some skills of WH 1e.
  • While there are no character classes, Wizards and Clerics are pretty much there, although there is more flexibility in mixing their abilities with non-spellcasting ones.
  • On the other hands, spellcasting is much less common and much more risky than in D&D. Even clerics risk offending their deities on a random basis, and Wizards risk mutations or even death when casting spells.
  • Character races are mostly the same, although I haven't seen Gnomes in WH, and it seems to me that there isn't the proliferation of character races available in most D&D editions. However, this is more a function of the setting, where there is a clear divide between "good" and "evil" races.
  • The setting does have large similarities with the implied assumptions of D&D -- elves live in forests, dwarves under the mountains, and halflings in pastoral enclaves; orcs, goblins, hobgoblins and perhaps trolls are related "goblinoid" races; there are evil elf and dwarf subraces; divine magic is provided by the gods. There are many human nations, RW-inspired not unlike in Mystara or (some parts of) the Forgotten Realms.
  • Overall, the tone is very gritty. It looks somewhat like parts of Ravenloft (e.g., Tepest ), sans the Mists and demiplane. Maybe Birthright with a Ravenloftish tone.

Re: What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:22 pm
by Ashtagon
WFRP 2e has Skills and Talents as separate features. In WFRP 1e, both of these still existed, but were listed simply as "Skills". The key difference is that Talents represent something that grants an ability you might not otherwise be able to do at all (analogous to certain D&D 3e Feats). WFRP 2e Skills can be taken up to a total of three times, provided each instance comes from a separate Career listing.

Careers are pretty much the defining feature of chracter development in WFRP, and are the closest thing to D&D classes in WFRP.

Spellcasting is a decidedly risky proposition. Try not to get emotionally attached to your caster, and remember that magic in WH is not for spamming. Casters can wear armour, although it makes magic either cost more mana points (in 1e) or more unreliable (in 2e).

"Good" playable races include humans, dwarfs, and elves. Halflings are also technically playable, but in 1e they were a comic relief race; I think they are a bit better balanced in 2e. Playable elves are intended to be either wood elves from a minor elven village in Empire territory, or sea elves hailing from a high elven trading post (typically Marienburg). Monster races that have been developed include Skaven, Norse, Ungols (chaos horse nomads), and Beastmen, and to a far lesser extent dark elves and chaos dwarfs. Orcs never really got the WFRP 2e treatment. "Good" playable Human nations that got serious development include Bretonnia, Kislev, and of course the Empire.

WFRP 1e had gnomes as a holdover from the WFB 1e/2e era (not quite sure if gnomes made it into WFB 3e). However, certainly by WFB 4e / WFRP 2e, gnomes had been written out of the Warhammer world.

Re: What differentiates Warhammer from D&D?

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:15 am
by Big Mac
Ashtagon wrote:My understanding is that GW orcs/orks have always been green. Blizzard's Warcraft was originally intended to be a Warhammer tie-in, but early development disagreements led to the tie-in being cancelled, and Blizzard went ahead with serial numbers stripped off.

https://kotaku.com/5929161/how-warcraft ... -saved-wow
Aha. Well with Warhammer being partially developed by ex-D&D designers, it might have picked up some D&D concepts second-hand.