I know of a few online retailers that specialise in out-of-print (OOP), second-hand, and original editions of RPG books and accessories. Let's make a definitive list of them!
Answer in First Part
All editions are known as Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The first edition, hereafter 1E, is often seen using a separator is logos for "Role•Play". Online resources will often make the distinction for you with numerical notations.
Online 1E CharGen and resources
While I'm unsure of online 1E character generators, 1E was released in 1986 and rereleased by Hogshead at the very cusp of online resources like the WWW, they may be tough to find, and when found, horribly written by today's web standards.
Consider joining the Strike-to-Stun forums for 1E if seeking a deeper availability of resources.
Also, MadAlfred's WFRP Pages contains some of the richest resources for 1E still online (including two 1E conversions of Druidic and Elemental magic for 2E.)
Answer in Second Part
WFRP 2E, or second edition, was released, in 2005. It is almost fully compatible with 1E with the following distinctions:
Gone is the 1E assumed compatibility with Warhammer Fantasy Battle. All stats are computed on a percentile system. However, the compatibility between 1E and 2E is an easily managed task.
Other mechanical changes address odd "munchkin" builds of dwarf PCs, e.g., the aforementioned "Naked Dwarf" problem.
The central feature of WFRP 1E, the Career System, largely remains intact in 2E, except in Magical (Arcane) and Clerical (Divine) career paths...
Magic System Overhaul
Gone are is the tiered levels of arcane and divine magic careers. These careers are aligned mechanically with all other careers in the system.
The new magic system use the unified target number mechanic, ties well with the skill and talent system throughout, provides for dramatic grim failure, and reagents.
1E is set during a rising tide of Chaos incursions and plots by Ruinous Powers. Ostensibly, 2E is set following the Storm of Chaos, a Warhammer world event that was played out around the world by Warhammer Fantasy Battle players, that also dovetails with the conclusion of original The Enemy Within campaign.
Conversion from 1E to 2E resources
Finally, Liber Fanatica has rich, downloadable conversion and support information for 1E-to-2E conversion. LF's Volume 1, The Character Compendium was compiled by play-testers of 2E and contains details on converting your 1E PCs to 2E.
These conversion tools would be very helpful if you wanted to say chargen using the 1E ruleset on hand and purchase 2E material at a later date.
Availibility of WFRP 2E
Almost all 2E material is now available for purchase at DriveThru RPG as PDF (and some titles as Print-on-Demand).
Hope this helps... 1E resources are out there, but show their age (if not in web design alone; remember 1E was released in 1986 and Al Gore didn't invent the internet until at least 1992--at least that's when he co-sponsored public access to ARPANET in the US Congress).Taken from https://rpg.stackexchange.com/a/19393/2064
I've never encountered a character generator that wasn't hit by a "Cease & Desist" letter from GW. All of the ones I've seen have been removed from the net.IDing 1E materials
In general, all you need to look at is the publisher. If it was Games Workshop, Citadel, Hogshead Productions, or Warpstone Magazine (to issue 22), it's for 1E.
If the publisher is Black Industries or Fantasy Flight Games, it's not for 1E.
WFRP 2E setting materials can be converted with only minor difficulties, but character and monster conversions may result in some odd issues.
WFRP 3E materials are mechanically totally incompatible
You mentioned DDI:
Even better is the WotC approach with the DDI, you can look up any monster or item or (almost any) rule, in the most recent form, for 3 years at the cost of seven books. I think this is the way to go, even considering the horribly slow character builder.
It's true, for three years that is a good deal. But what about for six years?
I'm still using my 3.5 PHB, ten years after I got it. I have a set of 3.5 books that is nowhere near the full quantity they released, and I'm okay with that because I don't care about a lot of the books they put out.
If DDI existed for 3.5, it would have cost me more than I paid for the books rather than less. Being an upfront cost, books don't cost more if you use them for longer. Subscriptions do.
And of course, online services disappear every day. Will DDI for 4e still be around in 10 years? If you want to play and it goes away, where did your rules go? I own a book from the 1800s, so I'm pretty confident that Wizards can't take my 3.5 paper books away should they decide it's time to move on and not pay for servers anymore (or go out of business).
Page Flipping & Sharing
I have bookmarks in my PHB & DMG. I also just know where some things are, because I've had to use them so many times. I can open the book and be in the grapple rules in two seconds. No matter how hard I try, I can't get there that fast on my iPad. I also can't have the grapple rules AND my encounter notes open at the same time with the electronic version, since my iPad can only show one thing at a time. With the books, I can put them beside each other. I can then also add a spell description from the Spell Compendium. The area around me when I DM tends to look like a book fort.
It's easy to share the book. I can hand someone my PHB so they can look up a spell description and keep doing what I was doing with my other books & iPad notes. If I have to hand them my iPad, I just lost access to everything until I get it back.
There's a subjective side to this as well. I like how books feel. I find them easier on my eyes than ebooks. They work at the cottage, even with no power.
In the end, it's really about which trade offs you prefer to make.