This is the first post in what I intend to be a lengthy series discussing the origins and evolution of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay’s first edition. The series will start with an account of the very beginning of Warhammer and take the story through to the closure of Flame Publications, when Games Workshop stopped publishing WFRP1. It will therefore cover a period that spans roughly from 1972 to 1992. That is not, of course, the whole story of WFRP, or even of WFRP’s first edition. It will omit the Hogshead years and subsequent editions of the game. However, it is a large enough project that I have decided not to expand its scope further.
The story will inevitably bring in the history of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, GW and Citadel, and a significant amount of material will be relevant to those subjects. However, my main purpose is to tell the tale of WFRP, so I intend only to touch on those subjects insofar as they shed light on WFRP. Similarly I shall not cover the history of D&D or role-playing and wargaming in general. Those subjects are somewhat tangential and have been covered well elsewhere.
Sadly the history will not be as complete and thorough as I would like. I have limited time to conduct primary research or to prepare the material to normal academic standards. So this will be an amateur effort. I hope it will be interesting nonetheless. Perhaps someone might in future address the subject in the greater detail it deserves.
Much of the material will come from interviews given previously by figures in the game’s history. I have decided to include as much of this material as reasonably possible. It would, no doubt, be possible to take a more selective approach and provide only the most relevant information. That would have the advantage of economy. However, I feel the speakers’ original words are among the most interesting parts of the story, so I am willing to accept the duplication and greater length a more expansive policy entails.
The account will blend a chronological narrative with thematic analyses. For this reason the time periods covered by individual posts may overlap. In order to clarify the chronology each post will include a chart indicating how it fits into the overall narrative.
Although I have already done a significant amount of research on the subject, there remains much to do. This is likely to mean that the series will at times be interrupted by hiatuses, while I conduct further research. I have decided therefore to divide the narrative into sections. Each section will contain a number of sequential posts and end at a natural break in the story. Between each section there will be a gap, when I will work on the next section and post material on other subjects. The first section, comprising parts I to VIII, tells the story up to the release of WFB1, and covers the period up to July 1983.
Sorry in advance for any errors.
The next post will look at Warhammer’s early origins.
Many of the posts in this series have been updated since they were first published.
Title art by John Blanche. Used without permission. No challenge intended to the rights holders.
12 thoughts on “THE WFRP STORY: INTRODUCTION”
Superb, I am very much looking forward to it 🙂
I hope you enjoy it. You won’t have long to wait for the first part.
I should also have been clear that I will continue to blog about all the usual things in addition to the WFRP Story. So the “hiatuses” I mentioned will still be filled with other material.
Am currently playing Enemy within on 1e. Since we have moved online I was wondering if there was a decent fillable character sheet?
Sorry, I don’t know.
I’ll add what I can. Feel free to ask questions. They often trigger memories that would not otherwise pop up.
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That’s great! Thank you. I will take you up on your offer, though the first few posts relate to the time before you joined GW.
I read your first two post a few months ago, and I remember your post about the Nippon book of wfrp, and surprised by that as I took a considerable time and effort to track it down on the Internet an surprised that someone did the same as I did. When I read further of your blog, I found that you tackle topics with an approach as like a historian, which I really appreciated, keep up the good work!
Thanks for the kind comment! I hope you keep enjoying the blog.
Looking forward to reading. A whole timeline of the early Warhammer days seems a grand undertaking!
I just happened across this interview with Rick Priestley from last year. There’s a lot of interesting stuff on the early days of Citadel and Games Workshop, as well as the rest of his career.
Fantastic Series! Can’t wait for it to continue…
I’m working on it….