Dangers in the Middle Mountains of the Old World

In my Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (4th Edition) review of the Enemy Within Campaign – Volume 4: The Horned Rat (PDF only), Middenheim the city was well covered as was a great enemy, the Skaven. While The Horned Rat Companion (PDF only) contains 64 pages of excellent supplementary ratmen material, I’m going to focus on the Middle Mountains in this review.

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My thanks to Cubicle 7 for providing me a copy to assist in my coverage of all things Warhammer RPG. Their ongoing reimaging of the Enemy Within campaign with additional support includes some amazing material useful for any WFRP campaign, not just ones following the adventures in order. The Horned Rat Companion has adventures, the aforementioned Skaven support with equipment and spells and monsters and more, and even a cult. Plus a gazetteer, a monster infested keep, PCs and NPCs, and an adventure in the Middle Mountains. And as is the case with many of these books the art, layout, maps, and overall quality are extremely high.

The Middle Mountains lie on the borders between Middenland, Hochland, Nordland, and Ostland. It is the only mountain range wholly within the Empire’s borders. Long before the Empire, the Dwarfs made homes in the shadows of the tall peaks in the realm of Karaz Ghumzul. A Chaos gate was discovered beneath the mountains and eventually the Dwarfs left, leaving only Slayer-Monks behind to guard the gate.

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The mountains served as a barrier between warring humans, but a Chaos horde eventually attacked the Empire. While Chaos was eventually defeated (this time) pockets of Beastmen and Chaos Warriors still survive in remote desolate areas. Brass Keep is still infested by Chaos and the fortification known as the Picket is designed to keep those forces at bay.

The included gazetteer and map lists plenty of place for adventure: a Chaos keep, a mining colony and penitentiary, and the remnants of Karaz Ghumzul. What is so great about this location is you could pick it up and put it in any fantasy RPG setting that has traditional dwarves and humans. The area could be used to kick off an entire WFRP campaign but it could just as easily inspire a Dungeons & Dragons game.

The mountain has much to explore. The mining colony and penitentiary has hidden secrets and PCs might work as mercenaries leading prisoners there. Or the PCs might be the prisoners themselves. This would be another way to kick off a campaign: learn the dark secret of the prison, break out, and decide what, if anything, to do with what they have uncovered.

Additional encounters cover monster hunters, escapees, prospectors, hermits, followers of Chaos, bandits, and various monsters. Brass Keep, a bastion of Chaos, is home to the Chaos followers called Blightkings who clash with Skaven. Those first 60 pages of Skaven information can come in handy here.

There are also three Dwarfs with stats that can serve as NPCs or PCs. There is a new career for Dwarfs called the Ironbreaker (the old tunnel fighter), and an adventure called Horror in the Darkness.

The adventure is really why mines exist in fiction. Miners have gone missing and the rest don’t want to go back in. So the PCs get hired to go and find out what is happening. What could possibly go wrong?

Smart PCs will need the right equipment, especially lamps. This adventure has a crude sketch of the mines for the PCs to follow and a side event where the map may have to be won in a drinking contest. This is Warhammer after all. The PCs will have to go slow to follow the map and to avoid getting off track. If they move too fast, they risk becoming lost.

Besides whatever has been picking off the miners, the mine holds plenty of other dangers. Getting lost, gas pockets, and cave-ins are all dangerous. All ending up with the PCs facing some horror in the dark beneath the earth. A classic and perfect recipe for adventure.

The Horned Rat Companion has enough material to kick off its own campaign, not to mention support and enhance The Horned Rat and Middenheim, City of the White Wolf (review). There is enough here that even GMs who are running something other than Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (4th Edition) will find useful maps, adventures, and inspiration. Five out of five Warpstones. Highly recommended.
 

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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody




Mournblade94

Adventurer
I just got both the Companion and the adventure sent to me finally after paying for it 9 months ago or so. Supply chains have made the WFRP books really hard to get. I started ordering directly from Cubicle 7.

I ordered and paid for Middenheim city of the white wold TWICE on 2 different sites and had payment refunded because order couldnt be filled.

I paid for it again and allegedly it is in transit though it has been a week since it was supposed to arrive. We'll see. These WFRP Books are awesome but are really becoming tough to acquire.
 

Skywalker

Adventurer
I just got both the Companion and the adventure sent to me finally after paying for it 9 months ago or so. Supply chains have made the WFRP books really hard to get. I started ordering directly from Cubicle 7.
Nice to hear. Cubicle 7 isn't great in providing updates and I was beginning to wonder if these books would ever make print. Did you get an email confirmation of shipping?
 





This looks a really strong product. I love the Old World setting with its grittiness, sense of doom but also humour.

You bring up a good point. The Old World does seem like a real place where real people live. Especially the PCs. Most PCs I've seen in fantasy settings are barely social with violent tendencies and more concerned with staying alive than much else. I can easily see a dwarf with a mohawk sharpening his axe by a fire with his boots off and one toe poking through a hole in his sock. Maybe throwing bits of salt pork to the ratcatcher's small but vicious dog named Das Hund.

There's a sergeant in Middenheim my PCs like (I think that is Schutzman). He gets the PCs and the PCs get him. A couple of different choices made in life and Schutzman himself could be a vagabond mercenary and/or a criminal.
 

GuyBoy

Hero
You bring up a good point. The Old World does seem like a real place where real people live. Especially the PCs. Most PCs I've seen in fantasy settings are barely social with violent tendencies and more concerned with staying alive than much else. I can easily see a dwarf with a mohawk sharpening his axe by a fire with his boots off and one toe poking through a hole in his sock. Maybe throwing bits of salt pork to the ratcatcher's small but vicious dog named Das Hund.

There's a sergeant in Middenheim my PCs like (I think that is Schutzman). He gets the PCs and the PCs get him. A couple of different choices made in life and Schutzman himself could be a vagabond mercenary and/or a criminal.
I think the flexibility of the advancement system reflects this, particularly in the sheer mundanity of some of the career areas; they are the “hole in the socks” of other games’ more adventure-focussed skills systems.
Our part in the current Enemy Within campaign consists of a whimsical noble, a grim witch-hunter and a down-to-earth river-warden.
They’re pretty real, as much for their flaws as their abilities.
It helps that the river warden’s player speaks excellent German and mine is vaguely passable, so we can have some fun with names!
 

thullgrim

Explorer
Iv started running Enemy in Shadows recently and have to stay the quality of the both the adventures and companions is very high. I order them from Cubicle 7 when they come up for pre-order and just wait patiently for them to arrive.

I’ll also note if your a Foundry VTT user these adventure are available for Foundry direct from Cubicle 7, as is the Foundry implementation for WHFRP 4e and it’s quite well done.
 



Mournblade94

Adventurer
Thanks. I got a response back from them. Sounds like they got copies in two waves and fulfilled some but not all orders. They said the rest should be fulfilled soon.
I know the first print run had errors everywhere on the printers side not Cubicle 7. We would have gotten these 3 months ago if the printer didn't mess up.
 


TheSword

Legend
This series is like a case of fine wine I’ve been saving for ages. I’m enjoying taking my time with it, savouring the experience.

@GuyBoy and the noble’s player have played the first part before, but the Grognard sideboxes that suggest alterations for veterans have given enough changes that the party can’t rely on their memories. That’s a lovely and thoughtful addition to a reprinted module. It also helps that the previous time was a pathfinder conversion and about 8 years ago.

I should say that The Horned Rat is completely original for 4e though and reads brilliantly.

Can I also thank you @Charles Dunwoody for continuing to review WFRP stuff and Wrath and Glory. I bought the latter on the basis of one of your reviews/previews and was very glad of it!
 

This series is like a case of fine wine I’ve been saving for ages. I’m enjoying taking my time with it, savouring the experience.

@GuyBoy and the noble’s player have played the first part before, but the Grognard sideboxes that suggest alterations for veterans have given enough changes that the party can’t rely on their memories. That’s a lovely and thoughtful addition to a reprinted module. It also helps that the previous time was a pathfinder conversion and about 8 years ago.

I should say that The Horned Rat is completely original for 4e though and reads brilliantly.

Can I also thank you @Charles Dunwoody for continuing to review WFRP stuff and Wrath and Glory. I bought the latter on the basis of one of your reviews/previews and was very glad of it!

You are most welcome. I really like Wrath & Glory. It doesn't shy away from the hard decisions and the cost of waging war. Even in a wild setting like 40k it makes the cost of war be paid in the loss not just of life but also of one's own humanity. That is some heavy duty roleplaying.
 

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