Remembering Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 1st Edition Part 1

The first edition of any game can be something that makes or breaks it. First edition of Dungeons and Dragons which I got for Christmas around age ten was great, but I had a hard time finding friends to play with. In fact few if any wanted to. I did find a group around but it was just a couple of sessions. Of course I became the de facto Dungeon Master due to my constant re-reading of the rules. But truthfully I enjoyed the solo adventure more. At that young of an age I wanted to absorb more knowledge and felt inadequate as a true DM.

I needed more books behind me so I set out reading whatever I could find of fantastical nature.


I  searched for epic books. I did some choose your own adventures and read a few books by Larry Niven. I had some old Norse tales too which were very cool and I loved to study mythology. Bullfinches Mythology was great. I found what I could and had my nose buried in a book whenever I could.

I dabbled into a few other games. Cyberpunk and the original Traveller RPG. Traveller had one heck of a system for making your star-ship so I did not play the game so much as build star ships one summer.

In early high school the series that left a huge impression on me was written by the fantasy duo of Margaret Wise and Tracey Hickman. The Darksword Trilogy. I barely remember much about it now. But I did get this book as well which complimented the world.


I love this easy little system. It brought the Trilogy of books I read to life and in my small opinion was a product with a bigger background to draw from. Heck they had an option where you did not even need dice! Dungeons and Dragons did not have much original source material as they drew from every source out there, from Tolkien, Franz Liber and several other authors. Sure they produced a few TSR novels. Several good ones including the Crystal Shard. But The Darksword Trilogy captured my imagination. I did read the Death Gate Cycle as well.

But something else came along to snare my soul.

My friend from high school introduced me to a different sort of RPG book. Growing up in Houston the best place to find odd RPGs was Nann’s Games and Comics. So we went there and bought two copies of Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play. I did look at other systems but this game did steal my heart and sacrificed it to the chaos gods.

The background took the Tolkien Legend and Michael Moorcock Chaos Gods and added a splash of Old Europe and smashed it all together creating a “Grim World of Perilous Adventure”. With the career system and percentile mechanics plus ease of use it became my steadfast world I built on. Heck I wrote two articles in 2000 and 2001 for Warpstone Magazine. The first article described an outcast Dwarven society of misfits called Dwarven Ram Riders and the second article was about making your own Ogre Player Character.


More from this artist here

Next week I will talk about the early years of High Fantasy Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play that my friends and I played. I will not talk about second edition as I never got to play it. I understand there is a third edition out but it looks too shiny to be such a grim and perilous world.

Apologies for the typos! I did my best to get some edits in but I hit publish too soon. I need a proofreader and more time to make these blogs. Blah.


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