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Poles love Warhammer

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

No, seriously. It’s even a bit creepy. In Poland Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is THE roleplaying game. This comes from the time when Poland finally opened up to the west and the first proper game that was published was WFRP. It gelled perfectly with the Polish soul. And if you don’t know what I mean with that you have never seen vendors sell candyfloss and balloons on a Polish cemetary.

This of course poses a certain problem for me, as I have a profound dislike for Warhammer.

It’s not that I really hate the system. I will not go and tell lies about it, I will not try to make it worse than it is. There are even some nuggets in there that I really like (e.g. Skaven). But in my opinion the whole Warhammer background is needlessly gauche and over the top.

Warhammer is… how shall I say it? Like a Manowar album. It’s nice listening to their songs once in a while, singing along with these ridiculous lyrics, trying not to break into laughter when looking at them in their videos, all earnest and proud. But how am I supposed to deal with that all the time?

Of course the problem so far only came up in discussions about roleplaying. In my English language group I have two players who do play Warhammer, but I don’t. And so I don’t need to play it with them. And I don’t speak enough Polish to play in a game yet, so that option will not even come up.

The infuriating thing comes when someone tries to tell me that Warhammer is the top of the evolutionary ladder for RPGs, and that D&D must be for kids because it has all these ridiculous monsters. Completely unaware that playing Warhammer and telling people that their game is kids’ stuff comes across… rather like a bratty teenager, desperate not to be seen as a kid anymore.

Well, hello, we are playing games in which we are wizards and thieves and elves and whatnot. Not trying to seem like kids should not be the top of our priorities!

Of course I met other people like him before. The same arguments I heard in Germany about DSA. Maybe that is why it annoys me that much. Because I thought I had these discussions behind me already.

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10 responses to “Poles love Warhammer

  1. kensanata March 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I’ve had people come up to me and explain to me that their preferred gaming style was obviously or objectively or clearly better or more adult or more interesting than some other system that I may or may not have mentioned or liked or thought about. It’s so ridiculous I always switch to the meta discussion of how preferences are influenced by culture and how discourse about preferences works and other such things which will either lead to an interesting discussion (to me) or to an utterly confused person looking at me going ugh? :)

    • Geoffrey March 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      see, and that is actually a nice conversation starter here: what does it say about the Polish culture that their favorite game (and it’s not the only one, but it did clearly influence others on the market) is a game with a lot of over the top stylistics, the prime example for gritty fantasy in roleplaying? A game where you can pick out the antagonist in any given adventure by knowing only a little bit of German? (hmm… Karl Todbringer?)

      • Robert Glodny Oglodzinski June 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

        I wonder why no one from Poland decided to answer Your post. Maybe, they find it, just like me – a little bit offending?

        Robert Oglodzinski, Warsaw, Poland. Dedicated WHFRP fan ;)

        • Geoffrey June 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

          Is that so? I think it has more to do with the fact that my Polish readers are not that numerous.

          • Robert Glodny Oglodzinski June 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

            It is a shame, cause I find You blog very interesting. If we will skip comments about Polish love for Warhammer :) I think WHFRP is a great game, however I will not try to convince anybody to play it. (It is a job of marketers from FantasyFalighGames ;) )

            I just do not get this ”It gelled perfectly with the Polish soul. And if you don’t know what I mean with that you have never seen vendors sell candyfloss and balloons on a Polish cemetary.”

            But I can understand that You just do not understand Polish soul at all. No worries, it happens. Once I asked kensanata stupid question about Swiss people. Still feel bad about it… (Sorry Alex about this weapon-thing-question).

            Anyway, mixing nationality issues with RPG issues is hm… a huge misunderstanding.

            • Alex Schröder June 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

              No need to feel bad about it. :)

            • Geoffrey June 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm

              I can just speak from my experiences living here. Maybe it is because I am a stuck up German, but I find the notion of selling candyfloss and balloons on a cemetary (ok, at the entry of a cemetary)… let’s call it weird. And I think one can say something about Poles and their love for this kind of game. The same way we could talk about Germans and their fondness of DSA, or maybe French and their fondness for CoC.
              Poles on the other hand seem to have a certain fondness of flashy and dark over the top settings. See Warhammer. Or Neuroshima. Or Monastyr. And to some extent Dzikie Pola.
              For me as someone who did not grow up in this culture, and who now experiences it first hand, this appears to be one of it’s defining elements.

              • Robert Glodny Oglodzinski June 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

                Ok, but I still do not get connection between cemetary and Warhammer?

                • Geoffrey June 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

                  lots of skulls (meaning symbols of death), quasi-gothic exterior, and in Poland (didn’t notice that in Germany that much) nearly ridiculous “I have to have more than the next one”-decorations. At least on All Saints’ Day, which is the only day I visit Polish cementaries normally. Which all can be found in the art and background of Warhammer as well.

  2. Jennifer March 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I’m not sure what my preferred RPG choices (Call of Cthulhu, 7th Sea and Deadlands) say about me. But at least I know better than to tell anyone that my game is better than his for whatever reason. I may not like that game and I may be vocal about it, but if it floats your boat, have fun.

    The Manowar comparison is hilarious. I’m so stealing that (not without credit when I use it in my blog).

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