‘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.
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.”