News for May 2010
On the Job Training 22
A look at new careers in The Winds of Magic, a supplement for WFRP
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay | Published 27 May 2010

– Designer Diary by Jay Little, WFRP Senior Developer

With the upcoming Winds of Magic supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, we’re able to expand on the rules and setting material for magic and its role in the Old World. Its influence is clearly felt with the Empire’s Colleges of Magic, and the eight Orders that study and harness the winds to pursue their goals. But the impact of magic – particularly the Colleges of Magic – goes beyond simply providing spell lists to wizards from different orders.

The Colleges of Magic are a political and cultural institution. In this designer diary, I provide some insights and a look at some of the new careers included with Winds of Magic that showcase their significance.

Focusing on Careers

The Servant CareerWhen we were developing this project, I knew we’d want to include a number of new careers. Winds of Magic was a perfect opportunity to provide a number of new careers, including several advanced and higher tier careers. But aside from the new third tier career for Wizards, we had some tough decisions to make. What careers would make the cut?

I worked closely with Dave Allen, a veteran Warhammer Fantasy writer and a name a lot of WFRPers know. Dave has quickly become the career “guru” for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay – his knowledge of the setting and ability to capture the core concepts and essence of the careers has been a great asset to the design team.

Dave and I started with a blank slate – we began brainstorming a variety of careers without rhyme or reason. Some were careers we weren’t able to include in the core set. Others were careers that had been discussed conceptually, but hadn’t been fully designed or fleshed out yet. As the list grew, Dave and I started to talk about developing a common theme or purpose behind the careers. Rather than randomly grabbing careers off the list, we wanted a reason. What made these careers special? Why were they appropriate for the The Winds of Magic?

Informing Our Decisions

As the manuscripts for the new magic book came in and I started to read through the great material the writers were submitting for the Colleges of Magic, the College’s role as an institution became more fleshed out and nuanced.

It’s easy to forget that the Colleges aren’t just made up of aspiring wizards and wizard lords. The Colleges of Magic are a business. They define part of the Empire’s cultural identity. Further, each individual College is its own microcosmic community. Servants work tirelessly to keep the buildings tidy. Scholars visit College libraries to plumb their references or research obscure topics. Merchants ply their wares and trade with the Colleges to keep College larders stocked and provide resources for study and research.

Click to see the Scholar CareerAnd a number of other professions and people are affected or influenced by the Colleges, even if they’re not directly involved in the day to day operations. Apothecaries benefit from the enlightened outlook the Colleges have brought to the Empire, refining what was once considered hedge remedies into a professional pursuit. Grave robbers plunder bodies from the cemeteries, which may ultimately provide fresh specimens for a less scrupulous wizard or dabbler of Dark Magic.

Making the Cut

Now that we had a list of careers to work from and a better idea of how the product was shaping up, we were ready to evaluate our options. First, we started to narrow down the list by removing what we weren’t looking for. We discarded all the martial or combat oriented careers – in fact, none of the careers in Winds of Magic feature Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill as career skills.

Next, we started to focus in on the careers that fell into one of two general categories. First, careers where intelligence, wit, education, or special knowledge or training were important. Second, careers that represented people who would interact with the Colleges of Magic on a regular basis in some manner. With these two guidelines in mind, we were able to refine the list to 10 new careers that provide a lot of variety, expand the roles and realism of the setting, and introduce advanced options to pursue (five of the ten new careers are advanced careers).

Dave did a brilliant job in making these careers come to life. Not only did he help develop the mechanical “footprint’ of each career with his input on primary characteristics, career skills, and the other game data that helps define the careers, but he wrote some wonderful flavour and background material that helps players get a sense of how these new careers fit into the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

To take a look at what's in store, be sure to download the Scholar career (pdf, 596 KB) – featuring both sides of the new Scholar career sheet, as well as its new Career Ability Card.

I think players will be pleased with the assortment of new careers, and the new perspectives provided on magic in the Empire. In my next designer diary, I plan on expanding that with a sneak peek at some of the new content that will be appearing in The Winds of Magic.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a roleplaying game that sets unlikely heroes on the road to perilous adventure, in the grim setting of Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy world. Players will venture into the dark corners of the Empire, guided by luck and Fate, and challenge the threats that others cannot or will not face.

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Comments (22)

Published: 4/6/2011 4:38:10 AM

I'd love to have all career cards in a male and a female version. But I dont think it's necessairy by any means.
Though the WFRP world in my view should be as an discriminating, oppressive, sexistic, racistic and foul place as it ever could be. Like it was in Europe during the 16:th or so century.
A really interesting aspect of the game takes effect when the player's meet this world of discrimination with their modern values. They try to oppose this, but end up banging their heads against a wall.
When a young noble pukes all over a player in a bar, and then laughs at him / her, backed up by his bodyguards, who also taunts the player, it should feel just awful, hopefully resulting in a big brawl.
This situation would be much less interesting if the player acted like he "should", apologizing for standing in the way of the vomit, and then leaving.

Published: 5/28/2010 11:39:16 AM

 I totally agree Cliff.  

In addition to Cliff's examples, in the original box set the Commoner (the lowest of all classes) is a man and the Road Warden (an office of authority and power) is a woman.  But you didn't hear a bunch of people complaining about how insulting a male commoner was.  The fact is, there are male commoners in the Warhammer world, as there are female servants and there are female commoners as there are male servants.  Unless you want genderless or androgynous artwork or symbols that represent the artist formerly known as Prince you may see a female image in a role you don't like every once in a while.  

The point is, there is no hidden agenda.  There is just a good game and what looks like a great expansion coming out.

Published: 5/28/2010 10:14:50 AM

Jay, this stuff looks awesome! Can't wait to see the final product.

Published: 5/27/2010 11:37:25 PM

For those who wonder about female role models in the Warhammer World, I offer for your submission:

Emmanuelle Von Liebeitz of the Empire, Elector Countess of Nuln and Wissenland

Tsarina Katarin, The Ice Queen of Kislev

Ariel, Queen in the Woods

Alarielle, the Everqueen of Ulthuan

All very powerful women in their own right with armies at their command.  And this list is far from complete.     

Published: 5/27/2010 8:33:32 PM

@ reidchapman:

or better yet.... LIZARDMEN!!!

halflings are cool to, but it seems that lizardmen aren't  supported outside of table top.

Cant exactly see having a giant killer lizard as a servant though

Gunamar Ironwill
Published: 5/27/2010 7:36:34 PM

I don't know about other rpg, but talking about Wfrp (the setting I mean,since I'm still playing the 2nd edition) as a GM I've never had problem with female fact out of the three gaming party that we play monthly - each one consisting of five to seven players- at least three girls play in each one.

And I must say that in most situations they are smarter than their male companions...

For me the real problem between guys and girls about roleplay is simply the way we describe the thing...hacking and slashing is not the only thing of which roleplay is made of.

Published: 5/27/2010 5:12:22 PM

ooh servant says any race, im pretty sure currnet "any race" careers say that, thus implying:

the halflings are coming!

Published: 5/27/2010 3:54:22 PM

I now agree with Lionyx too.

Published: 5/27/2010 3:53:10 PM

I actually agree with Yanma and Llanwyre, WFRP is a great game for both genders. It is grim fantasy but still gives you the flexibility to play as strict or loose as you want with the gender roles. Its much better than other games that give an automatic over the top portrayal of women in chain mail bikinis, with huge assets and toothpick arms wielding massive swords.     

Published: 5/27/2010 3:40:04 PM

"And then we wonder, why girls do not want to play RPGs... Please look at the roles and the pictures."

I am looking at them and I see a woman wearing pants under a long dress. The Scholar's codpiece is more revealing. And did you happen to notice the dried blood on the Servant's rolling pin? I wouldn't underestimate her.

Published: 5/27/2010 3:26:39 PM

"And then we wonder, why girls do not want to play RPGs... Please look at the roles and the pictures."


Hunh? As a girl, I think WFRP3e is one of the most girl-friendly games out there. Women are depicted on many different kinds of career cards, and they're all fully clothedno midriffs or excessive cleavage. I'm puzzled by what you find so offensive about this set as a whole. I think FFG has done a great job of including women while still being true to the time period of the setting.


Also, this set looks great!

Published: 5/27/2010 2:04:58 PM

Finnaly! That's what I was talking about. Great stuff and more fluff from The Wind Of Magic. New Carrers, new abilities and lots of new information about that big supplement for WFRP. I can't wait to buy it. My players will love it. :)

Thanks Jay!

I can't wait for another dairy and for The Winds Of Magic - of course. :D

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