Roleplaying is a setting book for the revised Dungeons & Dragons,
not a separate roleplaying game on its own merit. White Wolf has had
a seemly successful time turning Everquest into its own Open Game Licensed
roleplaying game, but why not Warcraft? I think the main reason is that
Warcraft is too similar to D&D in many ways then different, that
and this book started off in the Wizards' design shop before getting
picked up by Arthaus (White Wolf's license publisher, it seems).
with Warcraft is small; I've only played the downloadable demo for Warcraft
3, so most of the book was new information for me. The book is easy
reading, though cramped in places as text tries to flow around blocky
pictures of the settings creatures and heroes.
& Dragons default setting is out, and with it goes most of the core
classes (only Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Sorcerer and Wizard remain)
and races (halflings and gnomes get the boot, and Warcraft has new versions
of dwarves, elves, goblins and orcs taking up some of the slack). A
new race also appears, the tauren-a Warcraft shamanistic minotaur.
elves and high elves are two very different elven races, though not
without a common history before the shattering of the world, ages ago.
Night elves are druidic, while the high elves addict themselves to the
workings of arcane energies. The Ironforge dwarves are similar to D&D's
dwarves, but lack the encumbrance ruling; instead they may turn their
flesh into stone for a number of rounds. Orcs in Warcraft are a shamanistic
people that have overcome their ties with the demonic forces that brought
them to this world. Goblins are an industrious people, building new
inventions and weapons, such as firearms, grenades and land mines. The
new equipment chapter covers rules and has statistics for the new weapons
(rifles, blunderbusses, flintlock pistols, etc.) and artillery.
is a violent setting that is just recovering from a major series of
wars. A tentative peace hangs in the air, one that can be shattered
in a moment without warning. Affiliations keep the world's races tied
to other likeminded races. Humans, elves and dwarves are aligned in
a great Alliance, while the orc and tauren make for a great Horde. These
default affiliations help keep characters together, as player character
groups are all to be from one affiliation. Independents do exist, like
the goblins, but characters are more rare than the other two factions.
It's a different feel to have all the characters required to be on the
same side, one I'm sure some players may have issue with.
has three new core classes to make up for the lack of character classes.
A healer, scout, and tinker form the new classes. Tinkers build, scouts
track and healers, well, heal. These classes feel more tuned to Warcraft,
gamers wanting to use this book as a resource of new ideas might want
to kidnap the tinker as the default D&D roles of cleric (healer)
and ranger (scout) fulfill their places better than the Warcraft versions.
the Dungeons & Dragons core classes are treated as prestige classes
in Warcraft. Priests, Elven Rangers, and Paladin Warriors act in much
the same manner as their core equivalents, though in ten level classes.
Warcraft points out that the prestige classes from DMG are either non-existent
or uncommon in this setting. A total of twelve prestige classes make
their appearance here: Beastmasters, Druids of the Wild, Elven Rangers,
Gladiators, Horde Assassins, Hunters, Infiltrators, Mounted Warriors
(called different names by their Affiliation; Human and High Elf Knights,
the Night Elf Huntress, and the Orc Raider), Paladin Warriors, Priests,
Shamans, and Warlocks.
into this book are new feats and spells, and some new skills. The book
also contains rules for creating new mechanical items (their example
is of a dwarven flying machine). The creating technological devices
section is meant as a prologue to further developed rules in another
sourcebook. To me, Warcraft's technology is the one separating difference
between Warcraft and a regular D&D game (unless you're using the
"Building a Different World" section of the DMG).
contains ideas on keeping your games set here from devolving into just
a series of meaningless combats. It has several adventure hooks by Affiliation,
as well as some ideas about racial tendencies (goblin's spying on their
dwarven rivals, etc.). A large section of the book goes into detailing
the continent which the races have now setup their nations on, after
their conflict with the demonic Burning Legion. Kalimdor is now home
to a number of conflicted races, all with the idea that they are better
than their neighbors-an idea that with surely break the hard-won peace,
and ignite war.
Warcraft is an interesting setting that will make for some interesting
one-shot or minor adventures, unless you're a huge fan of the Warcraft
computer games. The setting has an epic feel, but too much of the setting
is trying to steer itself away from the epic setup. While the setting
may have room for an epic tale or two, the book doesn't lend itself
towards that. Warcraft gears itself, and rightly so, towards those fans
when adjusting the Dungeons & Dragons rules and it would be a fun
place to play for a change of pace.