SWL - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
What to Expect
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is typically a slop-around-in-the-gutter type of fantasy, where every brass pfennig, every arrow or bolt, and every blow struck counts. It is, on the whole, a grimmer, bloodier, grittier affair than D&D.
Magic (or magick) is significantly rare. It is not a world where every sixth person is a magic-user and neither are there bucket-loads of magical (or magickal) items just lying around. Sorcerers, as a general rule, make up about 1% of the entire population of the Old World. Most Old Worlders are solid, practical folk with little patience for such things as sorcery and magick and other things that cannot be seen or touched, and as you will come to see, as a result of (mis)-information given by the various religions at large in the Old World, many of the common folk, and even some of the more educated people, are actually a little wary of magick, if not downright terrified of it.
The Empire is the setting of your character’s adventures, a country comparable to central and eastern Europe of the mid-to-late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, hence the German-sounding names of the characters and places.
Adventuring in The Empire
The Empire is a huge country, filled with a multitude of people, places and creatures. Many of these people are simple peasants; others are artisans and traders who can sell you equipment, serve you in inns, and so on. A few are wealthy adventurers or nobles, with little time for commoners such as yourselves. Nevertheless, you need to talk to people and win their friendship if your career is not to be a short one. But beware! The cosmopolitan cities of The Empire attract the dregs as well as the cream of society. There will be thieves who may pick your pockets and bandits who may waylay you on the road. On the other hand, if you always treat everyone as a potential enemy, you may miss useful contacts who could supply vital pieces of information.
Perhaps the most significant feature of The Empire is its vast forests. These are well-known as dark, dangerous places, home to all kinds of perils: strange and evil creatures, renegades, bandits and the followers of perverse cults of the Great Lords of Chaos. Only the foolish or suicidal would enter them without good reason. Settlements are few, small and widely-scattered and travel is a risky business even for those who stick to the roads, and would be even more dangerous were it not for the well-defended coaching inns which secure the roads at regular intervals. Regular patrols of Roadwardens do their best to protect travellers from bandits and the like, but they are hard-pressed, busy folk who cannot be everywhere at once. They have enough on their hands without having to worry about formal trials for every wrong-doer. Consequently, justice is often dispensed summarily and on the spot.