Monday, March 1, 2010

Making Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition Mobile!

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition (WFRPG) offers quite a large box of gaming goodness. Those of you brave enough out there to plop down anywhere between $60.00 and $100.00 for it know that the core set is not only huge, offering everything you could ever want to get your group going in WFRPG, but it is also heavy. I got this monstrosity of a game for Christmas and have since been trying to find a way to make it truly mobile so I wouldn't be stuck carrying around a huge box in addition to everything else I need to game on a Friday night.

See, this box is huge! To top off my woes of having the slickest RPG to come in a boxset since 1st edition, I also have to deal with combining my Adventurer's Toolkit to make sure I've got all the basic options down. So, what was I to do? Given that I had to account for many different kinds of components, including mini cards, boardgame-sized cards, career and party sheets, boardgame-like cardboard figures and stands, and full-size perfect-bound rulebooks, a simple binder would simply not do!
That's where the Zbinder double binder comes into play. What's I've linked here is close enough to the final product, but in reality I did some shopping around in person rather than online. It was the only way I could be sure I'd found something that fit my laundry list of component storage needs. My first goal was to find at least a three ring binder. I had a lot of cardpages already filled with the ability cards that each player gets that gives them their uniqueness. Because of the fact that these cards are essentially their own rulebook, not represented in any of the actual books, I wanted my players to be able to page through them just like in a book when selecting their powers, hence the card pages.

The binder also desperately needed to have a zipper. I play a few CCG's (where I got most of the card pages from in fact) and those cards tend to fit nicely in the sleeves since they're made for the size of the pockets. None of the cards or figure punch-outs in WFRPG are the right size and they all could easily slide out. Take a look at the picture above and you can see an example of the figure punch-outs and just how small they are. A zipper was in order! In addition to the need of a zipper to keep the cards safe from falling out, I also needed a way to keep all the miscellaneous decks of mini cards that would actually act as decks in play i.e. I would need to be able to draw them randomly during play. You can see in the other picture above that my final storage solution was to first sleeve them in Fantasy Flight Games board game sleeves and then bag them up (using the bags that came with the box set for use with other components). Then I just threw them on top on one of the two sides of the binder and was good to go. I first tried throwing them in card coffins - the preffered way to store CCG competitive decks between games. These ended up being too bulky as the binders have limited depth and every millimeter a precious commodity!

After some shopping I came across the double zipper binder you can see above. The extra cool part was that it actually had a shoulder strap you could attach to it as well. At this point when I use it, it's almost indistinguishable from a laptop or messenger bag. I still had a problem though! What was I to do with all those counters and dice the game provides you? Fear not, Plano is here to save the day! After browsing the FFG forums for some solutions I came across the suggestion of Plano model #3650 to hold all these little bits and bobbles. With that done, I popped the Plano container into the other side's binder over the card pages and was able to completely zip up both sides with no excess stress just biding its time to one day tear apart the zipper and have my beautiful beast of a game fall to the floor in some giant chaotic mess... these binders are huge!

Needless to say, I'm quite pleased. It all came together nicely as the four books from the core set were divided into pairs and fit easily in the two foldery parts on each side of the double binder - very easy to access. In addition the carreer and party sheets, too big to fit into the card pages, fit fine as a deck in one of the pockets. The other binder's pockets was able to keep the character sheets. I even threw in a pack of the larger card protectors to slip the ability cards into when we actually play. 

I'm not sure what kind of bits the future will bring for WFRPG. I could see the GM toolkit components likely will fit into the binders with just a little bit of reorganization, but things like The Gathering Storm may need to live in their own boxes for now - at least until several adventures are realeased and can be packaged together. We here at The Hopeless Gamer hope you found this tutorial useful, we're not ashamed to admit that sometimes the crafting part of the gaming hobby can be just as fun as actually playing the games we craft on!


  1. Freaking brilliant! I noticed you said the z binder @ the amazon link isn't exactly the same binder?

    which store did you pick yours up from?


  2. It's probably the slickest, best produced RPG I'll never play... I do enjoy just looking at it tho.

  3. I actually picked it up at Staples. I think the brand name is actually Caseit, but unfortunately I don't have the packaging anymore and the binder itself is rather nondescript in its branding.

    @Tenkar - I have a secret - I haven't actually played it yet either, but I hope to, and honestly repackaging it like I did above has increased my access to all the components.

  4. Great little article - this is easily the most cool, awesome-looking RPG out there. I, too, hope to play it some day but for now, I'll be content to try and get it all sorted and safely stored away. :)

  5. I would love to play this one anytime you want to run it. I am more excited about this game than Savage Worlds or D&D right now. The only thing I am more interested in is a horror rpg, but most of those are one shots the way we run them anyways.

  6. Sign me up as well. You have enthralled me with your organizational skills.

  7. Great post. I put an order in for a Z-binder right after I read it. I will definitely be linking this in my review of WFRP 3rd Ed.


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