WFRP1 lacks an effective system for expressing the power of characters and creatures and for balancing combat.
In the absence of character levels, GMs and players have to resort to language like “second or third careers”. Unfortunately the variability in careers mean that this sort of expression encompasses a wide range of character advancement. A better method would be to keep track of the number of advances taken, skills and spells learned, career changes made, etc. A “Rank” measure could be used, which is increased by 1 every time 100 experience points are spent.
Of course, this does not help in determining the strength of monsters. I have therefore put together a tool to measure the relative strength of combatants. It can be downloaded from here.
The tool is an Excel spreadsheet that should be populated with the basic combat details of two groups of combatants. It then calculates how many rounds it takes on average for one group to reduce the other to 0 W, considering hit rate, dodges, average damage and total W. The result of this calculation is termed Combat Effectiveness (CE). The CE values for each group are then compared to give a Combat Advantage (CA) score.
Wizards are a slightly difficult case. The tool simplistically assumes spellcasters of Level 1 or above cast Fire Ball every round. It is an imperfect approach, but adequate for most circumstances.
The file is prepopulated with an example from Mistaken Identity. Cells with blue text can be overwritten. See the Notes sheet for information on completing the main sheet.