Adventures in Ubersreik published by Cubicle 7 for WFRP 4e [Spoilers]

TheSword

Legend
While the Enemy Within is the much lauded reprinted mega campaign for WFRP, 4e anyone who assumes this is the only thing the edition has to offer is missing out. Cubicle 7 chose the city of Ubersreik (of Vermintide fame) to drill into the detail of their setting. A city near the mountains in the far south of the Reikland near a mountain pass to Bretonnia. The starter set is based there as are three volumes of 4-6 adventures each called Ubersreik Adventures.

I’m about to start a campaign set in this bedeviled city and I thought I would share my thoughts on the adventures cubicle 7 has released to date. Also for the volume Rough Nights and Hard Days which I will be folding into my campaign. As always Guy, Pete, Ryan, Matt - close your eyes and read no further!

The Starter Set

WFRP 4e has a neat little Starter Set. It has a 64 page Guide to Ubersreik. The guide details the history of the city, the noble families, the power groups, the wards of the city, dangerous cults and even a few pages on the various Duchies around the city. This softback is absolutely packed with stuff. Including 60+ city locations with adventure hooks for every single location. Most of all it details the political fracas that underpins the whole Ubersreik Setting.

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To summarize, the current Pfalzgraf of the Duchy ofUbersreik, Sigismund von Jungfreud, was toppled from power for mysterious reasons by the Emperor himself in a midnight session of the Reikland Diet. The Altdorf State Army was dispatched to the city led by General Jendrick von Dabernick. At the same time lady Emmanuelle Nacht, the Imperial Herald is sent as the Emperors political envoy to the city to oversee the occupation. The Graf fled the city at the approach and is technically in exile in the western part of the Duchy that he still has complete control over including a formidable castle - Black Rock. Meanwhile the city is full of conflict between Altdorf troopers and the city guards (some of which harbor secret Jungfreud loyalties), between with four main Nobles families who all want to replace the old Graf and the various other councilors and power players many of whom believe Ubersreik should become a Freistadt and govern itself rather than answer to noble rule.

The Adventure Book throws the party into this cauldron. Full disclosure, the starter adventure is very railroady. It’s designed to teach people the rules and potentially introduce the party to each other. Essentially they become caught up in a marketplatz riot and are locked up for sedition and rioting - with the implication that they have been set up. A secret benefactor (left to the DM choosing) pays for a lawyer for the party and after a bit of roleplay the PCs are given the option of conscription into the watch (under resourced since the occupation and riven with corruption and discord) or execution. Once you get over that essential premise it’s not too bad but of course some players would resent the railroading. You could avoid this by just explaining that the PCs have been seconded to the watch before play and skip the riot/court scene.

The next segment, Making the Rounds, is a fun set of scenes where the party are introduced to the watch by the upstanding and earnest watch Captain Andrea Pfeffer and told the commutation of their sentence depends on the good report of their watch sergeant Rudi Klumpenklug… a foul prachett-esq corrupt watchman. Good natured enough, provided you play his game and go along with his various rackets and determined to take every advantage he can of every circumstance. Each scene presents a challenge - a bar brawl between city guards and state troopers, a house fire, and a pickpocket. Rudi advises the characters what to do, takes his cut and watches. It funny watching players trying to keep the hands clean without any defending Rudi. In theory how Rudi reports on their behavior can effect whether they live or die but in truth he will take credit for their good deeds while hiding his corruption. It’s very funny and can be played for laughs. The scenes introduce various concepts like opposed tests, conditions and some of the social rules.

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The next section has two more complex investigations each a few pages long introducing elements of the city. Rudi let’s them off the leash and they’re on their own for a bit. But he can offer advice. The first case Without a Trace, is a missing persons in the slums beneath The massive Dwarf built bridge at the center of the city which has a shanty town beneath the pillars. There are some interactions with the victims families and also with the henchmen of The Baron a mysterious crimelord that controls life in the slums. A surprisingly cunning river troll is the culprit - swimming up from the depths to take a victim every few nights which gives the party chance to try the rules for large creatures.

The second crime, A Secure Deal, is a con. Where a gang of dwarves have built a secure vault. A conman conspires with the dwarves to persuade several merchants of the city to patronize the vault but both are planning on double crossing the other. The players can uncover the con and save the money and potentially prevent the dwarves locking the conman in the airtight safe. Dwarves are a big part of the city as the Bridge, City Walls, parts of the fortress and many other buildings are dwarf built and an enclave still live there in Dawihafen. These two set the tone of a WFRP early on… mysteries and investigation with the potential for combat. Not relentless hack and slash.

The last section, The Prisoner and the Warden, covers the execution of a convicted murderer. A blacksmith named Maurer who has a strange blessing/mutation. He can see the flaws in everything just by looking at it. Not just metal ingots, but plans and even people. He killed a man who was actively trying to recruit him into a chaos cult and was convicted (unable to tell the truth because of the fear around witches and mutants). Several attempts have been made by the cult to take Bauer and so a road warden Ilse Fassenwuttend wants extra support to the escort Bauer to the execution grounds at the Garden of Morr outside the city. If the PCs agree then they get some escort duty culminating with a fight with the mutated cultists in the graveyard. Performing well means the Captain uses her influence to get the PCs released from duty. At this point the party have had an introduction to the city, know several important NPCs and are ready for further adventures.

A cool appendix to the adventure book is full of one-two page adventure outlines with some stat blocks, new NPCs and extra details. They’re sparse but make a really good base to improvise or expand if needed.

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The Hassle of Johann Hoffman: A prominent guild leader goes missing and the PCs are asked by General von Dabernick to investigate who might want to see the agitator bumped off. Is it the Lowhaven halfling criminal gang, the new guild master, or von Dabernick himself?

Red Moon Burning: Franz Lohner (Of Vermintide fame) made a lot of enemies in his mercenary career before he bought the red moon inn and settled down. A troll slayer, a rival band of mercenaries, a skaven assassin are all in Ubersreik and after blood. Franz plans on luring them all to the pub after hours and then blowing the place up - killing then and faking his own death. He wants the PCs help.

Da Lit’lest Waaghh: Details a tribe of goblins trapped in the Ubersreik sewers and plan on making their way to the surface. The PCs are hired by a noble of house Aschaffenberg to stop this spoiling a lovely party they have planned. The Merchants Guild have hired another group of adventurers to make sure they do reach the surface and embarrass the new regime and their lax security.

Blood in the Snow: Features a charismatic skin changer fanatic currently working as a pit fighter in the Tin Spur. Appearing as both a great white wolf and brutal fighter though patrons don’t know they’re the same person. The local priest of Ulric wants the party to infiltrate the fighting pits and drive off or kill the dangerous fanatic before he brings disapproval on the already struggling cult of Ulric.

The Riddle of Silver: Involves a human engineer who trained with the dwarves betraying a Dwarven PC. The engineer has found a Dwarven forge hold and is making copies of Dwarven craftsmanship and selling them off cheaply. The engineer has repaired a Dwarven automaton and use it to destroy the PCs if they interfere.

Memories of Blood: A PCs childhood friend asks for help to train a militia as due to the factionalism they’re no longer getting protection from Ubersreik. The village elder is suspicious of the PCs motives and the leader of the woman’s circle just wants to see the village well trained. A witch hunter comes to the village after rumours of chaos, confirmed when beastmen attack. but if the party take the fight to the beastmen in the forest they find one of the villagers was in league with the beastmen all along.

Two Wrongs Make a Right: A halfling thief (friend of a PC) picked the pocket of a handsome man in the street. It turns out the score was the signet ring of General von Dabernick but it wasn’t his pocket she picked. The Guard have already started cracking down. She wants the PCs to break into Black Rock castle and replace it in the generals bedroom before he turns the city upside down looking for it. If that wasn’t enough the sorcerer of Slaanesh that stole the ring in the first place can track it and wants it back.

Old Blue Eyes is Back: The town of Flechtben is enjoying a festival to celebrate 300 years of free rule and their historical folk hero Blaue Augen who had a tower north of the town. Some claim the town is haunted by the hero’s ghost. The local noble - annoyed by the peasants effrontery has hired an engineer to fake ghost sightings to rain on the parade but the engineer’s husband goes missing… leaving a lot of blood when they camp in the tower. If the PCs investigate they find used explosives, a cracked slab and a mural describing how the town gained its charter when they imprisoned a wraith beneath the tower. Back at Flechtben the wraith is busy terrorizing the festival.

Unions and Reunions: An elven envoy has come to Ubersreik to summon an Elven PC back to Ulthuan they are given one week to settle their affairs. A wood elf mystic offers to release the PC from the mystic bond with their family and mask their presence with a ritual marriage. However, the wood elf is a adept of Nurgle and the ceremony is a representative marriage of Nurgle and Isha, birthing a demonic creature. If the elf PC and the party defeat the creature and the corrupt wood elves, the high elf relative reappraised the situation and allows them to stay in the old world.

Ash in the Wind: There is witch in Hugeldal terrorizing the town - just as 20 years before there was a similar witch - burnt by a Witch Hunter relative of one of the PCs. The party investigate but things are muddled by a benign witch and two Jungfreud agitators stirring up trouble. The Baron’s valet is the witch - just a child when apprenticed to the original witch 20 years before. A necromancer the valet will raise the dead to cover his escape.

The adventure book finishes off with a few mutations and some basic rules for GMs.

Also in the boxed set are some nice dice, some die-cut tokens for conditions and advantage etc. Also several cards including two pages of Ubersreik rumours, a detailed GM map of the city and surrounding fields, a player map of the city, a player map of the Duchy and a really detailed GM map of the same. There are also 6 beautiful gate fold pregen PCs that link to all the adventures outlines I mentioned earlier.

All in all, the base set provides an amazing start to any campaign in the Old World. While the main adventure is a railroad that means folks can focus on picking up the rules and use the later hooks to mix things up. The guide to Ubersreik is priceless and the artwork is beautiful. The set becomes even more interesting when combined with the next three hardback volumes of Ubersreik Adventures.
 
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