Monday, October 8, 2012

Old World Careers in LotFP

I've had this simmering in the back of my head a couple of days now, and here is where I am with it. The Basic Career Classes represent broad-stroke background influences. They'll give a direct mechanical plug into the game. Specific basic careers will give benefits in more specific situations. Obviously, you'll need access to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for this to make sense. So, here we go . . .

Warrior         +1 to-hit regardless of class. This is a one-time bonus.
Ranger          +1 to Bushcraft
Rogue           +1 Additional skill point at 1st level
Academic     +1 to Language skill

I'll admit, these don't seem completely balanced to me. The Warrior is the most useful, especially for characters that aren't going to be fighters. The Rogue career would allow the specialist to place his bonus wherever desired, while the Ranger and Academic get very specific bonuses, which will only come into play in specific situations. Unfortunately, I couldn't really think of another way without getting into either stat bonuses, which would be too much for a background system, or adding skills just so the background system would have something to work on, which is rather self-serving. Ultimately, what that means to me is that the Basic Career Class should be randomly determined. Roll on the following table:

                      Human     Dwarf       Elf       Halfling
Warrior            1-3          1-4         1-3        1-3
Ranger             4-6          5-7         4-7        4-7
Rogue              7-9          8-10       8-9        8-10
Academic       10-12      11-12     10-12    11-12

The iconic Dwarf Trollslayer
When considering this table, bear in mind that this table does not limit or direct the player's choice of class in any way. This merely states the likelihood of the character having pursued a particular career prior to play. A player with a dwarf character who rolls Academic on this table could explain it by saying his character's family is a long line of craftsmen. for example.

As for the specific careers, they can be randomly determined, but I think the player should choose. The choice should be guided by common sense. The further removed from the character's class, the more the player should do to explain the choice. I would be very tempted to not attach any particular mechanics to them. Leave the player to find ways to use the specific career in play.

So, there it is. I tried to keep it mechanically simple. I just wanted a way to hook the characters into the setting. I'm interested in hearing any thoughts, but most especially from anyone that is into LotFP and the Old World.


  1. I like what you're doing here. I'm a big fan of WFRP 1st and 2nd editions, and I'm warming up to LotFP if only for the d6 skill system.

    I'm not sure if I'd ever do the Old World with any other system besides WFRP, but I could see myself doing a low-down-n-dirty fantasy world using a setup like this.

    Now, the question is...are you going to adopt the whole Manifestation thing for magic?

    1. I hadn't thought that far ahead. I'm leaning away from the Manifestations, though, now that I think about it.

      One thing I have considered is using the Realms of Chaos supplements (1st edition, of course) for some really twisted creatures.

  2. With repsect to the warrior imbalance, don't give them a +1 to hit. Allow them to use one and only one of the advanced combat options. Allow them +1 to hit with only one type of weapon.

    You might want to give the Thief 2 skill points and the ranger 2 points of bush craft. But what ever floats your boat really.

    1. I like the +1 with a specific weapon. The combat maneuvers are already available for the fighter, dwarf, and elf, so if one of those classes ended up with the Warrior basic career, they're screwed altogether.

  3. Cool stuff.

    If I were to implement this I'd give warriors a choice between +1 melee or missile AB and the rogue +1 to stealth. Should even things out a little.

  4. Another thought occurs. WFRP is characterised by incremental improvements to ability scores throughout a character's life. To simulate that, roll ability scores with 1d6 + 7. At every even level the character can increase an ability score by one point.

    If you wanted to tie the above to careers you could make the following choices of stat improvement available:

    Warrior Strength, Dexterity, Constitution
    Ranger Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom
    Rogue Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma,
    Academic Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma