Tag Archives: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

“Making the Rounds” – WFRP, Episode 2

‘You have little hope of being found innocent if you plead not guilty, as you were involved in the riot. Rather, we will make a “no contest” plea, admitting neither guilt, nor claiming total innocence, though we will hotly deny killing Fosten.’ Osanna grins at this. ‘Generally heavy fees and hard labour in the Grey Mountains would be the minimum sentence with such a plea, but I have some sway with the court, and I know they have been requested to support the Watch in these trying times, as it is severely depleted…’ – WFRP Starter Set, The Adventure Book, p. 15

Continuing recaps of our long drawn-out Enemy Within campaign. Game summaries and narrative interludes in black text; behind-the-GM-screen commentary and context in the green boxes.

Link to Session 1 – “To Market, To Market”

Our adventurers’ third full day in the fortress city of Ubersreik is highlighted by a trial, an unusual sentence, and drunken shenanigans on Wizard’s Way.

Osanna: “Maybe this is exactly where you need to be…”

Last out of their jail cell in the morning, the quartet is hauled before a judge and indicted for starting a riot, general violence, and two counts of murder (the knife-wielding thug threatening the young girl and Fosten the Fiery).

Surprisingly, prominent lawyer Osanna Winandus has been hired to represent the party. Apparently, the young girl who was saved by the party’s timely, albeit bloody, involvement at the Marktplatz is the daughter of an important merchant family in town, the Karstadt-Stampfs. Osanna advises them to plead no contest and, after being questioned individually by the judge, they do just that.

A great GM trick for new campaigns, especially with new players (or players with limited experience with rpg’s) is to force a bit of monologue. “Introduce yourselves to one another” or “tell me again how you all know each other” is the simple default way of getting your players talking, but it’s a bit more fun, and more natural in a way, if the game’s narrative prompts a different opportunity.

Here, each of the characters was put on the spot to explain to the court who he was, where he was from, and what business — other than starting a violent riot — he had in Ubersreik.

“Karl Hungus. Care to explain how an erstwhile merchant such as yourself came to develop such an adroit use of the dagger..?

“Kristoff Krowe. You’re a long way from Altdorf. And an even longer distance from the sea. Explain to the court, if you could, how your career path led you to violence in the streets of Ubersreik?

“Beaufort Phett. I don’t suppose you’d care to explain how your business in Ubersreik was served by destroying our Marktplatz?

“And… Godabert Tougan, is it? Bit of an odd name, yeah? Of course, you seem to be a bit of an odd fellow… where are you from again?”

Godabert was the one I really wanted to put on the spot. This player had come up with the most intricate and interesting background, which included a fake name that he had given himself to avoid trouble in his hometown, a little village just outside Stimmigen.

The party is sentenced to a maximum of three years working for the watch. Given the current political turmoil in Ubersreik, and the rising animosity against the “occupying” Altdorfers, the town watch needs all the help it can get.

From the courthouse, the party is led back to The Precinct to meet first with Watch Captain Andrea Pfeiffer and then with their commanding officer, Sergeant Rudi Klumpenklug. They are given light leather armor (stinky) and told to meet Rudi later that evening at The Raspy Raven to discuss their duties, which begin on the morrow.

On the way back to The Red Moon Inn, Godabert takes advantage of his new constabulary status and buys some arrows at Reiniger’s Outfitters. They stop at the Bridge House to post a letter to Jekel care of the Sprinthof coaching inn: “Following leads on Heske Glazer and the Karstadts. Send money.”

Continue reading “Making the Rounds” – WFRP, Episode 2

“To Market, To Market” – WFRP, Episode 1

The striking fortress-town of Ubersreik is situated between the gloomy Grey Mountains and the depths of the Reikwald Forest. The town guards the Grey Lady Pass through to Bretonnia, and is one of the busiest trading centres of the Empire. A mighty, Dwarf-built bridge that spans the red waters of the River Teufel stands at its centre. This impressive crossing connects important trade roads from across the Empire and beyond.WFRP 4th ed. Starter Set, The Adventure Book

Continuing recaps of our long drawn-out Enemy Within campaign. Game summaries and narrative interludes in black text; behind-the-GM-screen commentary and context in the green boxes.

Link to Session 0 – “Let Me Buy You a Drink”

Our budding adventurers, each responding to a similar invitation by the mysterious stranger, gather at the Sprinthof Coaching Inn, just outside Auerswald. The stranger, who now identifies himself as Jekel Schroeder, is in the company of a massive Kislevite missing his left ear and a stout, armored dwarf.

Godabert is the last of the four adventurers to arrive, a wisp of a young man dressed in meager attire but somehow in possession of a bulging money purse. God emphasizes his fashionably late arrival with a stool flourish that takes a tragic turn. He tumbles to the ground and spills a bag full of rocks all over the table and onto the tavern floor.

Prior to this first in-person setting, Godabert informed me that he was going to lurk about until all parties had arrived, and he was going to fill up his money purse with stones, so as to always have a supply of improvised ballistic projectiles.

I can’t remember exactly what this initial skill test was… or why I called for it… I just know that this represented our group’s first exposure to the fumble mechanic. Godabert’s first impression was hilarious on many levels, and opened our gaming in what I kept emphasizing as a “grim and perilous world” in perfect fashion.

Jekel explains that he chose each of the adventurers for a specific reason, assembling a party of mercenary investigators uniquely suited to the mission at hand.

The group is being hired to travel to Ubersreik, and locate Lena Bauer, an apprentice Bright Order wizard and member of minor noble family in Altdorf.

Continue reading “To Market, To Market” – WFRP, Episode 1

“Let Me Buy You a Drink” – 4th Edition WFRP, Episode 0

Inns and taverns are a distraction from the misery of existence for many citizens of the Empire, and an entertaining diversion for many more. They can often be places where political agitators do their work to whip up sentiment against the authorities, or where witch hunters prowl for rumours of the unnatural. Con artists and robbers also ply their trade amongst the inebriated unwary, although there is also some honest respite to be had, and the scribe is right about the pickled trotter.WFRP, 4th edition Core Rulebook

Today marks the two-year anniversary of what very well could be, if Sigmar allows, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign that I play for the rest of my life.

As mentioned in previous posts, I got back into the ttrpg hobby after decades on ice, and, after an ill-fated trio of 3rd-edition WFRP sessions, news broke of Cubicle 7’s fourth edition. Plans were hatched, long-lost first-edition tomes were reacquired on eBay, and I promised my fledgling gang of adventurers that, even if this new publisher didn’t release an adaptation, I was going to run them through the greatest rpg campaign ever written.

The Enemy Within.

The first book in The Enemy Within campaign, from WFRP first edition

We’re still going, with our 22nd session scheduled for tomorrow night, and the gang has almost arrived in Bögenhafen. The lengthy delay will make more sense as I recap two years’ worth of introductory scenarios, side-quests, and an unnecessarily complicated master timeline (that I have since become wise enough to rein in). Game summaries and narrative interludes in black text; behind-the-GM-screen commentary and context in the green boxes.

Let’s start with those session zero character-creation meetings, and the narrative hooks that were crafted alongside my players.

Continue reading “Let Me Buy You a Drink” – 4th Edition WFRP, Episode 0

A Brief, Unspectacular Attempt at 3rd Edition WFRP

As of December 2016, I hadn’t maintained or updated my Amazon wishlist in… I don’t know… years? But my folks, who have ever endeavored to surprise me with Christmas gifts that they knew (or assumed) I wanted, and had newly discovered the ease of shopping online, found Fantasy Flight’s box set for the third edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay deep within a list of graphic novels I had already since purchased (or forgotten about) and now out-of-print vinyl.

So my Christmas present that year was indeed a surprise.

Don’t get me wrong — I was excited to receive it. It was just that, the last time I had played WFRP was probably the summer of 1991 and, except for a brief attempt at Trinity in the early 00’s, that was the last time I had played a tabletop rpg of any kind.

My love affair with gaming during those intervening decades was as tumultuous as my human romantic relationships, and no less complicated. That’s a blog post for another time. Suffice to say while I satisfied a passion for games with a host of different collectible card games and an ever-increasing library of boardgames, I had neither the time nor the support to dive back in to ttrpg’s.

That all changed when I moved back home to San Francisco in 2012. I had reunited with a group of friends and family that loved late nights at a dining room table covered with dice, tokens, and map tiles almost as much as me. Around this same time, my brother, who had never himself played a ttrpg, but had been listening to a number of newly popular gaming podcasts, expressed a desire to start a D&D campaign. My Dungeons & Dragons experience was buried even further back in the past (last time had been… ’87?), but I do know something about this Warhammer universe and it just so happens that we’ve got this massive box of third edition WFRP goodies to explore.

Continue reading A Brief, Unspectacular Attempt at 3rd Edition WFRP

Law and Chaos: From Elric to Warhammer and Back Again

WFRP, 1st Edition, ca. 1986

I will not start at the beginning. I can’t possibly, or I’d never start writing these blogs. And I promised my pal, SolomonLox, that we’d channel some pent-up musings, reflections, or, in his case, recipes, that have been on our mind since the first incendiary sparks of a fiery 2020 rose up in mid-March, into new posts.

If I did try to start at the beginning, tracing my rejuvenated obsession with gaming and tabletop RPG’s in particular, I might never get around to reflecting on my current state of mind, my pandemic reading list, or recent Roll20 exploits. Plus, that would require too much organization on my part (so as to not upset the chronology). Another pal, HolyBeeOfEphesus, employs a workhorse mentality to his note-taking, sequencing, and thoughtful composition of blogs, evidenced most notably in his Used To Be My Playground series. I’ve seen the preparatory legal pads, ladies and gentlemen, and that guy works. Me, I’m just going to start rambling.

Let me instead start with a recent fantasy read and its connection to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. WFRP (“whuff-rupp”) for short. To borrow terminology from my favorite podcast, The Grognard Files, WFRP wasn’t my first RPG, nor was it my last, but it certainly is my everything. Future installments of this blog series will delve deeper into my adolescent explorations of TSR’s classic games and then draw a line from the Talisman boardgame through Games Workshop and into that first edition WFRP tome that I so cherished as a teenager. It may even feature game recaps from my currently underway 4th edition Enemy Within campaign.*

*It will most certainly feature those game recaps because I’m already in the habit of writing them for my players and, something else I’ve learned from The Holy Bee is that no amount of writing should go to waste. Why publish those solely for the benefit of my four friends when I could perhaps double that number by posting publicly?

Continue reading Law and Chaos: From Elric to Warhammer and Back Again