After I wrapped up my campaign of Warhammer fantasy roleplay 2nd edition (unfortunately, before its intended expected end), here are a few thoughts on how I liked my experience.
Careers: I can’t say that I am for or against the career system but I think that in the context of warhammer, it gives some spice to the character generation but nothing more. I noticed though that my players really liked that. They were able to plan what they intended to do and that gave them a lot of power over what was going to happen in their future and also enabled them to make career choices that supported the campaign. Example, one of my players played a dwarf rune bearer which turned out to eventually become a sergeant. The sergeant part occurred right when we were in a situation where he could effectively lead men and that was so much the better. I believe that if I had continued that campaign a bit more, some of the players would have moved on to more politically inclined careers and move in the high spheres of Altdorf.
I initially let the player make their own choices over what career they would start with. I am not someone who plays more than once in a single game setting and it was important to me to let them make the choice of what they would play in order to enjoy the most out of their experience in the Empire.
This is what the players played:
Tomb robber -> Apprentice wizard -> Journey man wizard
Apprentice wizard -> Journey man wizard -> Magister vigilante
Rune bearer -> Shield breaker -> Veteran -> Seargent
Elven envoy -> Hunter -> Targeteer -> Champion
Basic rules: The rules are nice enough to provide necessary resolution without being too much in the way of fun. They covered all the necessary ruling to deal with all my players attempted to do in the course of this campaign.
Combat: Here I have a bit of a beef with armors and armor piercing weapons. The combat rules are correct, even nice, but lets say that escalation of armoring goes too quickly. Lets take the above mentioned Dwarf. I think I remember him having a toughness of 6 (he had a magical ring giving him 1T) and he was moving along in a full plated armor. furthermore he was boasting a shield and had pretty good dodge and parry ratings. This little plated bucket of rage was a hell of a tank (to use MMO branding). He certainly could take care of a lot on his own. So, my problem was basically with piercing weapons like arrows, quarrels and pole arm pikes. Armor piercing weapons should possibly have more of an impact than only reducing armor by 1. Its not much though so, otherwise, combat rules provide for enough tactical options and not too much.
Magic: The magic system has a bit of a nice touch to it. By splitting magic by different winds and not letting a PC take more than a single wind was a nice opportunity for players to make a difficult choices. In the end, I even had one of my players wanting to learn a new wind and I told him that he would have to leave his character as an NPC as it might take him the rest of his life to be able to wrap is mind around the possibility to use a new wind. Not to mention the always possible danger of being discovered by a Witch Hunter in the process. So we had discussions about the possible usage of Dark magic! That would have been interesting as I really liked the chaos effects of Tzeentch’s curse.
Setting: This setting is incredible. It is rich and has lots of very nice support books that come in to complement the whole setting. The only missing part would be a book dedicated to Elves and Ulthuan, dwarves and the Karaks, Tilea and Estalia, the asian countries and the ones that are ruled by the dark elves and their nations. I would even have bough a book detailing the aztek like lizard mens.