donderdag 6 juni 2013


The role playing rules of Firsthammer include only two character classes, if one could name them as such: The Fighter and the Wizard. Other classes are often a 'flavour' of one of these two, determined by what skills a character has. In fact, to this day, there are but two main classes in Warhammer: the Fighter and the Wizard*

The Fighter
In essence, all Firsthammer Player Characters are generated as fighters, it is the default “class”, and it is entirely possible that a wizard Player Character starts out more proficient in combat than a Fighter! The Fighter does advance faster in the fighting skills department though, so would eventually catch up to the “master swordsman magician” should he survive enough adventures.
The distinction between swordsmen and archers is a tactical choice for all players, and I think that those who want to be wizards would choose archer over swordsman.

So, your character is always a fighter first, in this hybrid system of RPG and table-top wargame, and you have the option to become a wizard at character creation provided your Intelligence score is high enough (5+). The only advantages you have as fighter over the wizard is that you get physically stronger faster and have the simple role of hitting things. Oh, and you don't have to make the tough decision between wearing armour or not, as wizards may wear armour too but get penalties to casting spells when doing so.

The Role Playing rules of Firsthammer, being summary as they are, do not include a lot of guidelines on high level play and character (class)-goals like in D&D, but FoF. Vol.2 gives an insight in what the advancement goals of characters may be from the Hero Generation rules:
  • Finding a magic weapon
  • Getting some miscellaneous magical equipment
  • attracting followers, both humanoid and non-humanoid
  • finding and taming a Fantastic Mount.

i.e. these are things a randomly generated hero might have, and thus should conceivably be obtainable by Fighter player characters. Magic weapons and items could obviously be found in dungeons, and humanoid followers are available as hirelings. The non-humanoid “creature” followers pose more of a problem, how to handle these? A character might need an “Erberard's Leash”, a binding spell or come across a puppy of the creature and raise/train it as pet. More involving stuff. Fantastic Mounts include warhorses and horse-sized riding animals. While (war)horses are relatively easy to obtain, the more fantastic mounts such as riding reptiles, griffins, manticores etc. are more difficult to get... I noticed Centaur to also be an option as mount, which would obviously require the deep trust and friendship of such a creature (but, hey, that would be awesome!).

The Wizard
Being a Wizard in Firsthammer is a player's option provided his Character's intelligence is 5 or higher. By becoming a wizard you get the ability to sense magic in items, discover if there are people using magic nearby and of course the ability to cast spells. Your advancement focusses on the arcane arts, so physical attributes (fighting characteristics) advance at a slower rate than fighters, making you comparatively fragile at higher levels. Even so, the survivability of a wizard is not that much worse than that of a fighter if compared to D&D, mainly because the combat system is a wargame and handles 'hit points' differently. Up to experience level 500 (points), fighters and wizards have an equal amount of wounds, the fighter's advantage lying in his faster fighting skill advancement, which does contribute to survivability. It is even possible for a wizard to have a head start on a fighter concerning the fighting characteristics, though the fighter is bound to catch up and gain the lead eventually.
That being said, the Wizard is very resource management intensive as a character type. Your ability to cast spells is restricted by your constitution points and access to spell ingredients (philtres, amulets, talismans and staffs) and most ingredients are not easy to acquire. Thus, a wizard who has run out of constitution or ingredients is relegated to being a fighter who advances his fighting skills rather slowly. The magic system does give wizards a strong incentive to go out into the world on adventures to get the all important resources and ingredients required for many spells. Most of these can only be found in dungeons, lairs, other wizard's towers etc. And while they do turn op in random treasure tables (both in WTMCRPG vol.3 and FoF. Vol.3), a GM should take some care that wizard players have some opportunities to renew their resources or get those spell-ingredients, such as talismans, that are not expended while casting spells.

For “character goals” based on FoF Vol.2's chapter on heroes and wizards, the wizard has a few additional objectives, namely getting a (special) staff and spell ingredients/talismans. The random wizards generated using those rules acquire followers and mounts at later “levels” than heroes, and get fewer followers to boot, but includes the possibility of having apprentices (level 1 wizards) and lesser heroes among them.

Firsthammer RPG offers two “character classes”, Fighter and Wizard (actually: Fighter/Mage). The choice between both being largely a matter of personal preference. If you like resource management and arcane arts, go wizard. The fighter is in essence your average hack and slash guy.

*though, the addition of warrior/liche priests, assassins and scouts provide additional 'classes' to some races, these are generally just a variation on either of the two main classes.

2 opmerkingen:

  1. I'm really pleased to see your blog up and running again. I often go back to my 'white box' and imagine playing the game as the booklets imply, as a roleplaying/adventure game with miniatures.

  2. thanks Andy, I guess I was in that mood again ;)
    I had a bunch of posts made earlier, but didn't actually post them, and reading them again got me thinking: yeah, I want to play that stuff. sadly, haven't got around to it yet.

    As to playing a game, what's holding you back?

    One hiccup for me to organise a game is the fact that it's a bit incomplete in my opinion. I have lots of idea's to expand the system, but too much and I might as well play Warhammer Quest, WFRP or (O)D&D. I got a bit of analysis paralysis I think, or a fit of perfectionism. I want it to be awesome when I play it with my friends... But gradually I'm beginning to think that if I go at it, I should keep it simple, just a few bits and bops (non-combat resolution stuff, few modifications to the skill-list) to start off. Then have some mates over for the game and add things such as new special abilities and classes (thieves, clerics etc.) once there is a need for it.