World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game

Discuss the World of Warcraft campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
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Big Mac
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World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game

Post by Big Mac » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:32 am

After refusing to buy World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game for a couple of years (because I thought it was too expensive, I finally spotted a copy cheap enough to give it a go.

I already had Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, which I've been told is more compatible with 3.5 D&D, than WoW: RPG. That was 244 pages long, but I was impressed to see that World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game has 394 pages (150 pages extra). Given that WoW: RPG is a standalone d20 System Game (rather than just a campaign setting for 3.5) I figure that a lot of the extra 150 pages is going to be SRD content, but I'm looking to see what non-crunchy stuff is there.

What does everyone think of the differences between the non-crunchy material in WoW: RPG vs Warcraft: RPG? Or to put it another way, if you want to use the Warcraft: RPG rules, is it worth raiding anything from the WoW: RPG book?

Also, how do people think the WoW: RPG compares to the WoW: MMO setting material? I know the mechanics are different, but does the WoW: RPG do a better job of representing the Warcraft universe than the Warcraft: RPG did?
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Re: World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game

Post by Arrius Nideal » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:31 pm

I believe that WoW:RPG indeed does a better job. It takes risks--although that may result in some mechanics not being considered...playtested enough.

Case in point: the Technology rules. I've seen others around the interwebz tinkering with them (pun intended), and I did my own modifications to bring it closer to 3.5's rules, as it seems to work under its own presumptions.

However, I do love the experience, and I wholly recommend using WoWRPG as the baseline, disregarding entirely the Warcraft: RPG core.
I'm readying for my own game, and have modified the rules extensively to accommodate for skills more in sync with the online game, such as gathering/refining skills, mana rules (as I've uploaded before), and a new system regarding crafting items, but with the errata, netbook (EMM&M), and modifications, WoWRPG has the potential to be very good in this regard.

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Re: World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game

Post by Deckenpuppel » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:41 pm

Arrius Nideal wrote: such as gathering/refining skills, [...] and a new system regarding crafting items.

Sounds interesting. Care to elaborate?


Regarding the topic, I check the Warcraft - The RPG Core Rulebook mostly when looking for specific pieces of fluff text. Other than that you don't really need it, I think. With other publications, like Lands of Conflict for example, I still consider them useful, even though you find most of the description texts on wowwiki/wowpedia, so probably you can manage without them without missing much.

When it comes to representation, I don't think there is that much of a difference. Neither does feel very much like the mmo gameplay, but both are equally capable of portraying the WoW universe, at least in my eyes.

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Re: World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game

Post by Arrius Nideal » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:49 pm

Deckenpuppel wrote:
Arrius Nideal wrote: such as gathering/refining skills, [...] and a new system regarding crafting items.

Sounds interesting. Care to elaborate?
Gladly.
Gathering/Refining Skills
This includes an overhaul to the 3.5 skill system, and the introduction of a 'value pool' mechanic. The idea is simple enough: roll a Herbalism (for example) check in the woods, tell the DM what you want to gather, and the result in GP is added to your floating pool of 'herbalism materials', which you can use to fuel refining skills like Alchemy*.

For example, the High Elf mage Viridel wants to create a potion of cure light wounds. The average potion costs about 25 gp. Instead of investing gold, he wishes to gather the materials from the woods. I, as the DM, rule that these woods are cursed, and they cannot be used for a Herbalism check. If I allowed it, however, he need only roll a Herbalism check, and add the value of the result (the total value depends on a specific formula) to his floating pool of herbalism materials. He can deduct 25 gp from the pool to fund the creation of the potion, without having to return to a city or pause the adventure.

Crafting System
Crafting times are divorced from item cost, and instead depend entirely on complexity.
So be brief, items can range from 'Very Simple' to 'Very Sophisticated' in complexity, ranging from 10 minutes to create to 2 weeks, with a check time calculated in an 'hour pool' (for lack of better term), from which a traveling crafter can invest as much hours as they wish to craft said item.

For example, my brother's Dwarven tinker Morodoth wishes to create a gun. I classified guns (under the firearms sub-family of the Technology tree) as a complex item, with a time increment measured in one week. A week's worth of crafting is five days, with eight hours each day, for a total of 40 (5 x 8) hours. Morodoth can invest the hours as well as he wishes to create the item, gaining the item at the end of the week.
Under the normal rules, a TS 4 firearm might cost about 310 gp, which requires much more time if referring to the old anarchic system.

I will post details once the system of houserules is finished. As of yet, it's still a work in progress.

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Re: World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game

Post by Big Mac » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:25 am

Arrius Nideal wrote:I believe that WoW:RPG indeed does a better job. It takes risks--although that may result in some mechanics not being considered...playtested enough.
The way I see it, they are trying to customise Dungeons & Dragons to the Warcraft/World of Warcraft universe, which is a good thing. But there there are two things going on here.
  1. A process of bringing the Warcraft/World of Warcraft campaign setting alive with the existing 3.5 mechanics and
  2. A process of tearing down D&D rules and replacing them with alternative rules.
I can see how people can think that both of these things are good. (I can also see how other people can think that Warcraft RPG did better at certain things or how they might think that neither game has captured certain elements of the MMO.)

What with World of Warcraft giving us a modified d20 System game, it kind of fits into a similar niche to the Conan d20 game or Pathfinder RPG. I think that, of the three Pathfinder RPG has clearly done the best at the "playtesting" thing. And they have got 3rd parties to support their variant rules, which adds value to their game. In contrast the "WoW:RPG System" has a much smaller pool of books and no SRD. So if you want "more" you have to supply that more yourself.

Perhaps, if Scarred Lands works out, Blizzard might consider giving a new World of Warcraft licence to The Onyx Path. Maybe that might mean that we can see some new books to cover things like Burning Crusade and other MMO expansions. (It would also be nice if Even More Magic and Mayhem was given a commercial publication.)

I do wonder if a hypothetical return of WoW: RPG would be done as a continuation of the "WoW: RPG System" or if they would switch to Pathfinder RPG (or 5e) to try to market the game to an established player base. :?
Arrius Nideal wrote:Case in point: the Technology rules. I've seen others around the interwebz tinkering with them (pun intended), and I did my own modifications to bring it closer to 3.5's rules, as it seems to work under its own presumptions.
I would love to see you write about that, as its own topic, rather than have it get buried, as an aside, in my topic.
Arrius Nideal wrote:However, I do love the experience, and I wholly recommend using WoWRPG as the baseline, disregarding entirely the Warcraft: RPG core.
I'm readying for my own game, and have modified the rules extensively to accommodate for skills more in sync with the online game, such as gathering/refining skills, mana rules (as I've uploaded before), and a new system regarding crafting items, but with the errata, netbook (EMM&M), and modifications, WoWRPG has the potential to be very good in this regard.
I'm very torn here.

I want the best possible Warcraft experience, so adding in missing elements is kind of important to me. On one hand, it does seem that WoW: RPG does that better than Warcraft: RPG.

But I also do want to maintain compatability with D&D, as much as possible. And it seems that, WoW: RPG makes changes to the core rules that makes it harder for me to do what I want to do with it.

I kind of want to keep to 3.5 rules, but also include even more "Warcraftness" than WoW: RPG gives me.

I want things like WoW: MMO quest chains (instead of traditional D&D adventures), so that players can interact with a number of NPCs and have several quests on the go at the same time. I want things that are important in the MMO to be important in the tabletop game. I don't necessarily want to see tabletop grinding, but if people want to do fishing, mining or collecting herbs or if they want to auction things that they have found or made, that should "work" in the tabletop game. And creating guilds should be important, as a tabletop element.

I want to have hundreds of detailed NPCs, like you get with the MMO. I want the locations of the world to have as much detail...or even more detail than you get if you walk around inside the MMO. I think this is an area where the tabletop game could really build upon the MMO details and make something much better. I want the tabletop dungeons to have maps as good as the MMO dungeons. And I want the surface maps to add extra towns and expand the cities to make them large enough to be logical.

I want to have every MMO monster and faction in the tabletop game. There really is no excuse to avoid including monsters or leave out factions...aside from running out of time to create products.

So I do like a lot of what WoW: RPG has tried to do. I'm not sure it has given me exactly what I need. I think I'll have to create some house rules before I get what I want. But I am certainly glad that it exists. :)
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game

Post by Big Mac » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:35 am

Deckenpuppel wrote:Regarding the topic, I check the Warcraft - The RPG Core Rulebook mostly when looking for specific pieces of fluff text. Other than that you don't really need it, I think. With other publications, like Lands of Conflict for example, I still consider them useful, even though you find most of the description texts on wowwiki/wowpedia, so probably you can manage without them without missing much.
One thing I generally dislike with rules reboots (and this applies to D&D itself, as much as it applies to Warcraft/World of Warcraft) is that they go all the way back to reinventing the wheel, before they start creating new stuff. So there is a part of me that thinks that, if they had not spent time creating World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, Monster Guide, Alliance Player's Guide and Horde Player's Guide*, perhaps they could have spent the time that was spent on those books, creating new books instead.

* = Or if they had built the World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game rules in the first place and not created Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, Manual of Monsters and Alliance & Horde Compendium.

We will probably never know what other Warcraft/WoW tabletop books might have been created, if there had only been a single product line, but if the line had continued, I personally would have liked to have seen some era-related books, that showed people how to run games set in the time of the various Warcraft computer games, as well as special books to go with all the major releases of the WoW MMO (The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor).

And I would have loved to have seen some adventure books that each gave us dozens of quest chains, similar to the ones in the MMO.
Deckenpuppel wrote:When it comes to representation, I don't think there is that much of a difference. Neither does feel very much like the mmo gameplay, but both are equally capable of portraying the WoW universe, at least in my eyes.
I'll agree there. Both clearly get the job done. People might have preferences, but anyone who plays with either set of rules is doing the right thing. There is no "wrong way to play the game". :)

And, I'm not sure I would enjoy a game that was so close to the MMO, that I had circles for throwing down effects and a bunch of stopwatches to work out how long each effect lasted (or took to cool down). I know I really dislike the fact that you get killed and then run back from a graveyard. That ruins my sense of disbelief in my MMO characters**, although it works well as a computer game mechanic.

** = Having said that, the graveyard thing would be awesome in a Ghostwalk MMO, as it would fit in perfecly with the setting. :)
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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