WFRP 4e The Enemy Within Campaign Book 1: Enemy in Shadows Session #08 My Face Painting Days Are Over.

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Olek's Prayer to Sigmar #01.
Olek's Prayer to Sigmar #1.jpg
 

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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.

The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.

SESSION #05 ALTDORF!

The PCs

Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.

Looks Like:
Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.

Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf, and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.

Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.

Looks Like:
Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.

Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.

Looks Like:
Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.

Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.

Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.

Looks Like:
Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.

Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Here we go again.

And not a lot of pictures as usual, but we’re improvising.

Altdorf at last.

Oh, but just to say ahead of time- we found a picture of Olek in the WFRP 4e rulebook-

5.01.jpg

The image was clearly shot from very low down, because Olek has to stoop to get through every door he encounters.

Read on…

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
ALTDORF!


SCENE 1a. Konigplatz-a-go-go.


Why Scene 1a, well, you’ll see- but if you don’t spot Lothar in what comes next then you’ll know why. In a bit.

And so, after a pleasant night in the Seven Spokes Inn, followed by a hearty breakfast and then a hell-for-leather dash down the Altdorf Road, and…

We are in the capitol, and the last hour of the journey- which takes the time to around four bells, is spent squeezing the carriage through the heaving streets of Altdorf, and to the Konigsplatz at last.

All roads, or at least carriages, lead here.

With a bit of scene setting along the way, of course-

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Altdorf? Altdorf. Altdorf! It’s only a few pictures nabbed from the web, shush!

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And all the way to the Konigsplatz, spot the circle.

Altdorf is rammed.

There are masses of people everywhere.

The Konigsplatz is the confluence of several major thoroughfares, and the stopping point for literally hundreds of carriages, it’s also a market (temporary), a place to shout and harangue others, and- well, a brothel, a place to get a fix, a place to settle a bet, or a fight.

It’s all of life.

The coach pulls up, and the inhabitants of the vehicle are instantly beset on all sides by a tide of humanity, all of whom- seemingly, have something to sell, or to say.

“Spare a…”
“DR. RICTUS’ HEALING LOZENGES!”
“Drink at…”
“Eat at…”
“… the best beds in…”
“Down with the big NOBS!”
“PRAISE BE TO…”
“LOZENGES, THEY’RE LOZENGY-GOOD!”

That kind of thing.

Then…

Trumpets blare, the crowd surges and…

The emperor arrives, at the head of a two-hundred strong column of soldiers, cavalry and knights. Karl-Franz turns up to welcome the heroes to his fair city.

Or else to parade through the square with drum and fife to… well, to somewhere else.

It’s quite a show.

The crowd surges some more, the characters climb up on top of the coach to witness the spectacle.

Olek is overcome, the big man weeps- not quietly but with great yawning jagged sobs.

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“It is something- no! To be in the sight of our Glorious Emperor!” Frederich adds, and then shouts, “Hail Karl-Franz!” like he’s a stormtrooper, or at least until he sees, and then hears, Fergus grumbling.

Fergus is lectured for a while- about solemnity, about dignity, about power…

The dwarf eventually concedes, and he too pays his respect to his majesty-

5.06.jpg

Fergus salutes the Emperor, Karl-Franz.

And so now to the action-

A small hand snakes out and grabs one of the bags from the rack atop the coach, as it turns out the disappearing pack belongs to Fergus.

Perhaps he should have shown a little more respect.

“Oi! Tha’s mine!”

Fergus spots the small (a halfling or a child) person that ducks back into the seething crowd with his belongings- the dwarf is quickly in hot pursuit, although… that doesn’t last long.

Fergus very quickly realises that he’s a dwarf in a crowd of humans, he can’t see anything- not where he’s going, and certainly not the thief that just nicked his pack containing his beloved face-paints, and his even more beloved whiskey flask.

This section is a tutorial (sorta) for what’s coming next, you’ll see.

The point being that someone needs to stay atop the coach, or in some other raised position, to direct the chase.

It takes a while for the PCs to think of this- their first turn sees Fergus, Olek and Frederich all dive into the crowd and… well, even seven-foot-tall Olek can’t see which direction the thief went.

Frederich starts shouting “STOP THIEF!”, which a majority of the nearby crowd greet with a friendly cheer, followed by uncontrolled laughter and ridicule, all aimed at the ‘dumb’ Burner.

“Da fat burner got summats snaffled!”
“PRAISE BE TO SIGMAR!”

Olek’s pursuit is…

Well, the big man attempts to recreate the scene from Crocodile Dundee (I don’t remember which one) in which Mick reaches his lady love by standing on the heads and shoulders of the various folk crammed together on a subway platform.

Well, similar to that… only with a seven-foot giant, and no permission granted from the human steppingstones.

Olek doesn’t get far…

And soon after he’s being confronted by two angry citizens, and being pelted with horse manure by several others, which is, of course, when Frederich gets involved with things.

The situation is however soon resolved, Frederich starts shouting threats and then rolls incredibly well (‘01’) on his Intimidate check, the jeerers retreat sharpish.

Meanwhile Olek has climbed back aboard the carriage, and once their quickly figured out how this works, and so is soon after directing Fergus to his quarry.

The dwarf barges his way through the crowds and… eventually (three turns later) he stumbles into an alley- the thief, just ahead of him, is but a young lad.

Eventually the urchin pulls up and spins around- there follows a stream of invective, the degree of foulness- well, even I was a little ashamed of the things I said.

5.07.jpg

In short- “gi’ us two shimmies or we’ll fork yer stuffin, ya muther-cluckin’ short-armed cork-licking bar steward!”

Fergus works out who the ‘we’ in the above sentence applies to.

There are a dozen faces- in doorways, windows and snickets hereabouts. More urchins, all of them armed either with either handfuls of stones, or else lengths of wood.

Fergus pays his two shillings, and after a little bit of invective of his own, retreats with his pack intact.

Note, there was more to this scene, but… we didn’t get there.

So, where’s Lothar in all of this.

SCENE 1b. To me. To you.

Well, Lothar- right back at the start and atop the coach still, has his eyes on two suspicious looking individuals, one of whom is staring intently at him while performing some very strange actions- signalling him he thinks, maybe?

Lothar is entirely engrossed, which is why he’s missing from Scene 1a.

The odd pair he espies are nondescript burghers of the city, to look at- slightly older than he is, and clearly both related. One of them spends all of his time scanning the crowd thereabouts, while the other stares daggers at Lothar and continues to signal him.

The fellow seems to be exaggeratedly itching his left ear with his right hand.

And repeating this awkward action endlessly.

Lothar fails to make any headway- parroting the gesture back, trying to indicate to the signaller that he cannot reply because Olek is standing by his side (directing traffic in the scene above).

And…

Lothar is really not sure what to do for the best, and getting exasperated, and the strange fellow’s strange signals are getting, well… stranger still, and even more exaggerated, and are now accompanied by a gurning visage.

As if the poor fellow was straining to be understood, or else to be acknowledged.

It’s at about this point that Frederich arrives on the scene, having seen off the rest of the folk that were flinging horse-poo at his brother.

And Scene 1a meets Scene 1b, as the rest of the gang filter in- Fergus is the last to arrive, of course.

“What is he doing Lothar?” Frederich asks his fellow Burner, as Lothar points at the strange fellow.
“Signalling me, or else the man he thinks I am- Kastor Lieberung. Perhaps he is some sort of rogue, or else a spy- perhaps Kastor was…” Lothar rambles.
“NO!”, Frederich interrupts, and then patiently explains- as if to a child, “You are so naïve, my friend. They are cultists Lothar, and not of the Holy Church of Sigmar. I smell corruption.”

Just to note- when Frederich says, ‘my friend’, he means, well- the exact opposite. I’ve never heard ‘my friend’ sound so much like a threat before.

Also, to keep in mind, Lothar doesn’t just look like Kastor, he’s dressed in the dead man’s clothes too.

At which point both Burners dive into the crowd and discover… as per Scene 1a, that running into the crowd just gets you lost.

Eventually Olek turns up and gets back to directing traffic- the Burners are, soon after, in hot pursuit of the signaller and his mate.

But then the two strange men duck into the crowd and they too disappear from sight, at least for a short while- they’re lost in the still seething crowds, until… they’re spotted again, they’ve repositioned- and the same fellow is back to franticly, exasperatedly, signalling in Lothar’s direction.

Note, we repeat this formula once more, the Burners go in pursuit- directed by Olek, they get close to the odd pair and then… the signaller (and co) disappear into the crowd again, only to pop up…

The PCs get it.

At least that is until the frantically signalling fellow is suddenly thumped on his shoulder by his erstwhile wordless neighbour, and now the signaller takes to messaging someone else, or at least making the same gestures but this time in a new direction. Not at Lothar.

Most odd.

Soon after the pair duck back into the crowd- they’re heading in a new direction, towards the very edge of the Konigsplatz.

Note, at this point all of the PCs have made it to the last spot, the plinth of the great statue of Magnus the Pious, at which the strange pair were formerly settled.

It’s a very slow, very odd chase.

And now, with Fergus in scene too, the PCs are, of course, still trying to figure out who these people are, what the signal is about, and now where the hell did they just go again? Just… WTF?

There’s a lot of confusion as the PCs continue to move from high ground to high ground- mainly the plinths of the various statues here in the Konigsplatz, trying to track the strange duo’s progress across the square.

It’s Olek who gets the last glimpse of the duo- who briefly become a trio, the two strange men follow a thick-set man in black leathers into a nearby inn, the Cat & Fiddle as it happens.

The PCs therefore gather together while Lothar explains ongoing events re the two strange fellows, and then the four PCs mostly bicker about what to do next for maybe ten or more minutes (real time, no really).

5.08.jpg

Strange faces indeed.

The Cat & Fiddle is packed.

Let’s keep it brief- the two odd fellows, and the guy they met with here are… no longer here. They went out the back way, not even stopping for a drink.

Lothar switches into suave mode, and also palms a silver shilling to the barman who informs him of the above (and below).

The PCs are too late, much too late.

The two odd fellow’s new companion- the man the pair met here in the inn, was indeed a thick set guy in black leathers, with slicked back black hair, and a nasty scar at his throat- maybe 40 or so years of age, the rough-looking fellow was also toting a crossbow- strapped to his back. He looked like he meant business, and that is how the barman earns Lothar’s shilling.

The PCs have a description of the man they didn’t properly see, and yet, still not a clue as to what’s going on here.

A little more searching around the rear of the inn, and… they’re gone- the trio are no-where in sight.

To compound the PCs misery the adventurers decide to ask the friendly barman here, Herberk Flugel, about the task that drew them to Altdorf in the first place.

1.01.jpg

Remember this?

The PCs just need to find the residence of the Crown Prince Hergard Von Tasseninck, but… oh dear,

Herbert explains- the Crown Prince departed Altdorf for the Grey Mountains three days past, it was quite a sight. The prince, his grand retinue, and his hired adventurers paraded through the district and down to the docks, then on barges to… Bogenhafen.

Bogenhafen.

That’s where Lothar’s (Kastor’s) fortune is to be found.

SCENE 2. Hey Joe!

So, next up- back to the Konigsplatz to get the rest of their gear from the coach, alas all of their fellow travellers have already departed, not even a goodbye for Lothar from Lady Isolde.

What now to do in Altdorf?

Funny you should ask.

“OLEK!”

“OLEK!”

“OLEK!”

And I’d love to show you a picture of Olek and Frederich’s favourite uncle- Josef, but it seems no-one took a snap.

Josef Quartjin is delighted to see his nephews, and particularly now that they have escaped from the dungeon that is Ubersreik, and very specifically the ‘wretched’ monastery in which they were raised…

Josef is a wild one.

“Olek, Lothar- look at you two. You rapscallions, you dogs you- escaped the service of those thuggish, dunderhead, priests of Sigmar, at last. It must feel like paradise now that you are out- wine, women, song…”

But then, alas, Uncle Joe notices the attire of his two favourite nephews.

And their demeanour.

And countenance.

Frederich is as cold as ice.

“Yes, Uncle Josef, by the blessings of Holy Sigmar it is good to see you again, so… very good.”

Olek is a little more effusive, or else… well, just a lot more normal, in comparison with Frederich, of course.

Note Olek and Uncle Joe both suffer from giantism- Olek is seven feet tall and muscled (but thin), Josef is six feet eight and looks like a slightly less kempt and more over-weight Hagrid (from the Potter nonsense).

The rest of the gang are introduced to the garrulous Josef, he has a kind word for all.

Olek however wants to know what Uncle Josef is doing in Altdorf, the answer being stocking up on wine, he’s heading out in the morning on his barge to the Schaffenfest, to…

5.09.jpg

“Bogenhafen!” Olek finishes.
“Tha’s right!”
“I don’t suppose you have space on you barge…” Olek asks and is interrupted right back.
“I’m looking for four crew! That’s incredible Olek!” Josef finishes.

The PCs don’t say ‘yes’, yet to Uncle Joe’s offer, but they do allow Josef- who knows the capitol well, to show them some of the sights of the city, here goes.

SCENE 3. The Blessings of Sigmar.

The first stop on the tour of Altdorf… the Grand Temple of Sigmar, and not the Street of a Hundred Taverns, which was Fergus’ hot pick.

The Grand Temple is… well, no words (or pictures) can do it justice.

Even Fergus is impressed.

“Big!” He states while helpfully waving his arms about to indicate the vaulted chapel, that at capacity, can hold nearly four thousand souls at devotion.

The PCs wander the place, some of them eyeing suspiciously the Grand Theoginist Soap-on-a-Rope and other tawdry religious gewgaws.

Olek finds a place away from his friends, he has come here to say a prayer to his Lord, and to (without notice) leave a tithe, only- a moment later, after depositing the money, he feels suddenly very weary, a cloaked stranger steps quickly towards him, he’s about to feint…

The cloaked man, Olek notices (but barely), is heavy-set, and very strong… the good Samaritan guides the dizzy Olek to a pew, and then takes a moment to whisper something in the blacksmith’s apprentices’ ear.

But the moment is too much for Olek, he closes his eyes and… the next thing he sees is Frederich, his brother’s face wracked with concern, gently speaking his name to him…

“Olek? Olek?”
“I am at peace brother. I just met Sigmar. He came to me, he told me…”, and it’s at this point that Olek realises that the whispered words of the good Samaritan have completely fled his mind.

What did he say?

However, Olek is certain-

“I just met Sigmar!” He states much more confidently, and with a smile that lights up his whole being.
“Of course, you did, Olek- that is why we are here.” Frederich simply states.

Soon after the PCs depart the Grand Temple.

On to more serious matters, shopping…

SCENE 4. Shopping.

And so with a little more help from Uncle Josef the PCs are directed to a variety of retail establishments, they have some jewellery to sell, and some excess clothing- a pair of leather jacks, and a few ugly/shoddy weapons.

Just to note Olek does the talking (and the rolling) for all of these transactions, he’s a Dealmaker, and his Fellowship (& Haggle) are higher than his companions.

Then… shopping, and a tutorial about Critical Deflection and the importance of being armoured.

This goes on for a while.

I am slightly ashamed to say nearly ninety minutes, we go through a great variety of Old World fare, from armour and weapons (and ammunition)- and their qualities and flaws, to clothing, and bags, and then to an apothecary- to see what they do, and… Well, it took a while, and keep in mind all of the players save my bro Kev (playing Lothar) are new to WFRP. Kev only played a couple of games back in the 80s/90s (1st edition).

Forgive us, but we’ve devoted eight sessions (I estimated ahead of time) to get done the first four chapters of this book.

At the end of the shopping expedition- well, all of the PCs have armour now, the Burners have leather and mail combos (they got two mail coats from the dead coachmen remember). The crossbow, the subject of last sessions furore is… sold. Bows are cheaper, and besides Lothar already has advances in the weapon.

Note, Fergus retains the Blunderbuss, even though he still cannot use it.

Further note, Fergus also gets directions to the dwarven enclave in Altdorf, it’s called Metallschlacke, although the place he’s actually looking for lies beneath the streets there- Niederwind, but we’ll get to that, maybe- sometime in the future.

Then, there’s only ten more minutes left of the session.

SCENE 5. Manic Street Preacher.

Josef has had enough, and time is getting on- and so the next stop on the journey is… well, down the Street of a Hundred Taverns to Josef’s favourite pub in Altdorf, the Boatman.

“Best beer north of the Reik!”

However, en route to the inn, and just to make clear the Street of a Hundred Taverns is pretty much always Friday night- the crowds are somewhat boisterous, and the Watch have got their work cut out- there’s a lot of chaos going on, drunk and disorderly barely covers it.

Then, a wide-eyed, wild-haired head pops up, above the crowd, and then harangues the assembled masses. Although, at times, it seems the wild fellow doing the haranguing is concentrating his spittle-flecked efforts in the direction of our four colleagues.

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A face for radio, the Manic Street Preacher.

‘I see Darkness Gathering as the Last House of Joy Falls –
beware, for Shadows Over Bögenhafen stir!

Then Beloved Morr, resplendent in Vestments of Green,
stands astride Sigmar’s Great River.

Yea, I see Death on the Reik and I despair!

For then the Stained Hand guides the Once Mighty Lord,
and this Power Behind the Throne curses us all.

Lo, the Horned Rat then claims the Broken King atop his Throne of Lies,
and the White Walls Fall, leaving our Empire in Ruins!

Tremble in fear, ye mighty, for the End Times have come.’​

And after the last line, the just revealed prophet falls from his perch (he was stood on a stool) and is caught by Lothar, the fellow twitches and spasms as his bloodied lips gnash and gnaw. The Burner lays the fellow gently down.

Eventually, settled by the Burners ministrations, the fellow at last opens his eyes… and demands a shilling, at least, for his prognostication.

Lothar pays the man a shilling, and helps him back into the world…

Note, Lothar is, I think, the only PC that has a shilling left. They all, mostly, spent up on their shopping spree.

Lots more laughter in this one.

The final XP table is below.

PCKonigsplatz-a-go-goHere’s Josef!Uncle JoeSession XPTotal
Fred (Jim)4554054
Fergus (Ben)4503544
Olek (George)3554558
Lothar (Kev)3504048

Note Frederich and Olek got an extra 5 XP each for meeting up with their Uncle Joe, the same as Lothar got an extra 5 XP for meeting mutant Rolf again. Fergus (like Bono) has yet to find who he is looking for.

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.

The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.

SESSION #06 One Less Witch Hunter.

The PCs

Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.

Looks Like:
Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.

Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.

Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.

Looks Like:
Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.

Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.

Looks Like:
Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.

Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.

Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.

Looks Like:
Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.

Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Here we go again.

Last session I said this-

Note, Lothar is, I think, the only PC that has a shilling left. They all, mostly, spent up on their shopping spree.

Well, I’ve checked, and Lothar & Olek have a few shillings each, while Fergus and Frederich- they’re down to a handful of pennies each. The pair really did spend up on their shopping spree last session.

Also a word about where we are at- XP-wise; Frederich has advanced all of his stats & skills et al to be ready to advance to Witch Hunter proper, which he is now saving up to do. Fergus & Olek are in a similar position, except both of them are now saving for Talents (Sharp & Very Strong respectively) which are available in their present careers (Scout & Artisan respectively). Once they have the Talents the next step will be to go to Level 2.

Lothar has a few Characteristics that he needs to advance yet to complete his Interrogator career.

However, read on…

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
ALTDORF!


SCENE 1. The Boatman Inn.


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We’re in the Boatman Inn, on the riverfront, and Josef’s favourite bar, and more importantly Olek and Frederich’s uncle is paying- half a pheasant each, and with all of the trimmings, and a bottle of Cabinet Savage, a cheeky Bretonnian plonk, each.

That’s right, a bottle each.

Lothar, to begin with, is suspicious- how can Uncle Josef afford to spend so much?

As it turns out, Josef supplies the wine here at the Boatman, it’s what he does- he ships wine up and down the Reik, mystery solved.

Then, much chatter.

Uncle Joe has much to say on three specific subjects, which are-
  1. the fact that all nobles are either corrupt or else bonkers.
  2. Wizards (particularly those here in Altdorf) are also corrupt and/or bonkers.
  3. Corruption can get you late in life, Uncle Joe tells the story of a riverman he knew that turned (a bit) into a frog-man-thing.
Remarkably the PCs agree with Uncle Joe on all points- although there’s a varying degree of interest/concern with regard to the conversation. Fergus just thinks all manlings are corrupt/bonkers (to some extent), while Frederich wants evidence- and the names of the folk that need his help? He’s keen to make his second pyre of corruption.

But we press on, more chatter- the PCs even extract another rumour they have not heard so far out of Uncle Joe- it’s the silver-tongued Lothar that gets another 1 XP. Note the PCs have discovered twelve of the fifteen rumours that are available in this section of the campaign. If they get all fifteen before they hit Bogenhafen the saintly DM has said he will give them an additional 1 XP each.

And about Bogenhafen, all of the PCs have signed up to crew on Uncle Josef’s barge to this place, after all they have business there- Kastor’s inheritance, the Schaffenfest, and Crown Prince Hergard Von Tasseninck was also heading there. The PCs were initially trying to get a job with this fellow.

So, the PCs are all signed up to travel, and Joe is set to leave at first tide tomorrow morning, and so this is their first and last night in Altdorf, and some of them are drinking.

Note, Fergus McClean has some things to do yet in Altdorf, he is however of the opinion that his other task can wait until his next visit, he’s up for Bogenhafen, he likes Uncle Joe (he keeps on paying for things) and he likes a drink.

So, back to the Consume Alcohol checks- and Fergus, even after two bottles of Cabinet Savage (-30 check to consume the whole bottle quickly) is not even tipsy. He rolled an ‘06’ and an ‘04’, and neither of these were his best roll this evening.

Olek & Lothar both get a little tipsy but then decide to stop drinking, Frederich isn’t drinking much either. The players are still very wary of Consume Alcohol checks, they now figure that they very often precede the ‘action’, when a -10 on everything is least wanted.

Would I do that?

Josef is getting smashed.

6.02.jpg

And the evening in the Boatman is getting on, a pleasant night until a pair of nobles, with four threatening looking bodyguards in-tow, start acting the giddy goat. The pair are drunk and very insulting to the bar’s clientele.

Note, earlier in the evening a black leather clad tough also took up station near to the bar. The PCs first instincts on seeing this thug was to think it could have been the same guy that met with the two odd fellows who spent an age signalling Lothar in the Konigsplatz earlier. The fellow Olek saw disappear into the Cat & Fiddle there was also wearing black leathers and had swept back black hair- and a scar. Although that’s the sticking point, the fellow from the Konigsplatz had a scar on his neck, the rough in the Boatman has a scar on his right cheek.

A lengthy discussion develops on the back of the tough’s arrival at the inn, but the accompanying dice rolls all point clearly to the fact that this isn’t the same guy they saw earlier.

But back to the two ill-behaving nobles, Fergus is at the bar, and clutching a gold crown given to him by Uncle Joe, along with the instruction- ‘more booze… (Hic)’.

Fergus is suitably delighted, he’s even showing it every now and then, that is until one of the nobles starts shouting “Brandy Bounce!” and the other, seconds later, yacks up all over his trousers.

Remarkably the dwarf is a lot more sanguine about events then anyone at the Virtual Table expected.

“Better out than in, I s’pose. You’ll wanna watch what thar’s doin’ a less ‘appy fellow could’a tuck umbrage”, then there is pushing, it’s mostly the noble’s four bodyguards securing their charges.

However, lots of other things happen quickly-

Frederich is to Fergus’ side, and the man in black- the tough that intrigued the PCs earlier- he’s also in Fergus’ face, and happy to hand out a few choice insults, both to Fergus and Frederich,

6.03.jpg

It all looks very threatening, things are getting heated, and so it’s a little bit odd that it’s Lothar that actually starts the fight. The Witch Hunter explodes into action, dashing from his table- at which he was previously sitting quietly, and delivering a hefty thump (with knuckledusters) to the antagonist’s kidneys.

It kicks off.

But it only takes two turns to play out.

Max Ernst, the bad man in black, punches Frederich hard in the gut and then smashes the bottle he is drinking from into Lother’s head. The first Witch Hunter is left sucking in air, the second- Lothar, is Stunned (1) and sent reeling, down to about half of his wounds.

I get up to three Advantage with Max.

But it doesn’t last.

Frederich has to gain a point of Corruption- Miss, Fortune Point- Miss, the Whispers of the Ruinous Powers (courtesy of the DM- and yes, I’ll do it!)- Hit, in order to connect with the villain, but it’s only a glancing blow. But that’s the end of Max’s Advantage.

Note everyone here is fighting with fists (knuckledusters), so far.

Fergus hits Max hard, real hard- something daft like six Success Levels (my dice were broken) plus all the rest.

Max is quickly down to just two wounds, and so goes for a dramatic Intimidate check- remarkably only Lothar is affected, but the Burner is still also Stunned (1).

Fergus smashes Max again, an uppercut to the jaw, and for a daft amount of damage (even more success levels than the last time- he rolled ‘01’ and I rolled ‘98’).

Max’s jaw is broken- teeth fly, and he’s Stunned (lots) and also after a failed Endurance check- Unconscious.

There is cheering, and the bodyguards grab their noble charges and swift-exit the Boatman Inn.

Soon after the following events occur, in no particular order-

Max gets robbed.

Note, as soon as Max hit the deck Olek started shouting something like- “Remember to rob the deviant fool, Sigmar needs to get paid!”

Things have changed very quickly.

Lothar decides to leave Max with enough money to pay for someone to fix his broken jaw, he’s all heart.

Next...

Several patrons from the bar help the PCs to make the unconscious Max disappear, the body is dumped in an alley.

And...

Frederich attempts to help Lothar to recover some of his wounds, the Burner’s magic touch doesn’t fail him- Lothar takes an additional wound.

As always when Frederich gets involved.

Also...

Fergus doesn’t pay for another drink all night and is later chaired around the bar by its inhabitants.

“Am ‘avin’ a grert night!”

Inevitably...

Lothar, when recovered, manages to hoover up another errant rumour from the happy punters in the bar, that’s just two left to find, and another 1 XP for the silver-tongued Burner.

And finally, the Boatman closes its doors and the PCs follow a drunken Josef back to his barge, the Berebeli.

SCENE 2. To Me…

The back alleys and narrow passes between warehouses and flophouses, and other low class Dockside establishments, the PCs following the staggering Josef to his barge, only…

Lothar can hear someone following behind them, trailing them… and a little while later Fergus concurs.

The PCs corral the wandering drunken Josef and keep him occupied, and shushed, while they hide out, waiting to see who is following them- a figure appears at the top of the alley/street in which they hide, but passes over and across- not tempted in.

A second shadowy figure, only a few steps behind the first- the pair are clearly together, takes the bait. He heads into the alley and towards the hidden PCs.

Eventually, after a sudden clattering sound- which briefly arrests all action- nothing happens, the shadowy figure continues to creep forward and at last steps into a convenient shaft of light from the gibbous moon o’erhead.

Lothar instantly steps forward, also into sight.

6.04.jpg

“To me?” The familiar odd fellow (from the Konigsplatz) asks.

“To you.” Lothar confirms with a nod and starts forward- towards the strange man.

The Burner gets within six feet of the fellow, when-

“Huh!”

A crossbow bolt suddenly erupts from the odd fellow’s eye- pointy-end first.

The man falls into Lothar’s arms, although the Burner is quick to let go of the fellow, and suddenly all of the PCs are in a panic.

The fallen fellow with a crossbow lodged in his head (and poking out of his right eye) is dead.

Lothar cautiously heads forwards, towards the end of the alley- it’s Fergus that spots the shooter there, a big man with, of course, a crossbow.

Olek and Frederich dismiss all thoughts of finding cover and charge straight out of the alley, at which point- with Lothar et al catching up, the second body is discovered.

6.05.jpg

It’s the second fellow from the Konigsplatz.

The PCs are keen to find the shooter, particularly when they espy that the second body here has a crossbow bolt lodged in its neck and is obviously also very dead.

But the PCs, who are still having to look after the drunken Josef are stretched thin here, and rolling high when they’re aiming for low- the shooter is very quickly away. In truth they didn’t spot anything at all, save Fergus’ glimpse- this wasn’t an amateur hour event; this was clearly a professional at work.

There follows a lengthy and somewhat fractious discussion, which in retrospect could have gone quicker/better. This after the two dead bodies are dragged into a much smaller and lonelier alley, for further inspection, then to the discussion.

Frederich is certain that these two odd fellows are/were cultists, Fergus- for whatever reason, is not convinced, and equally happy to let Frederich know this- the pair bicker for a bit. Right up to the moment that Lothar and Olek discover that the pair both sport matching tattoos on their right breast, a five-fingered purple inked hand each.

At which point everyone is convinced that these two fellows were indeed cultists, and not of the good kind, not of Sigmar variety.

This is what actual card-carrying members of the Ruinous Powers look like.

The PCs take a good long look at their enemy.

Frightening.

For a variety of reasons.

6.06.jpg

There are no other clues to be found, although Olek also makes sure that the two dead folk are relieved of their purses, and then… after another twenty minutes of addled wandering Uncle Josef eventually locates the Berebeli. Here we are…

Hammocks up, and then sleep.

Although…

SCENE 3. Isolation.

So, OOC all of the players are aware that Olek caught a Cold all the way back on the road to the Coach & Horses Inn, we did all of the checks out in the open- as part of the tutorial, anyway Olek’s Cold will begin its effect in a few hours.

Simply put Olek will start Coughing & Sneezing (making him contagious), develop a Malaise (Fatigue 1).

Lothar wants to avoid catching the Cold, and so the DM decides that if the PCs can make a difficult Perception check then they can wake up when Olek starts coughing, and then attempt to isolate him somehow.

And so it comes to pass, and guess who it is that awakes in time to save the day- Lothar. Lothar, for some reason has gone all Howard Hughes at this point, a germaphobe. He awakes when the coughing and spluttering starts, wakes Olek and convinces him to isolate and then… MISTAKE awakes Josef and tries to explain to the bargemaster that Olek needs his cabin, because- he has a Cold.

6.07.jpg

Uncle Josef is not happy at all- and still flailing drunk, eventually Lothar is kicked out of Josef’s cabin- many more PCs awake, and eventually the contagious Olek is stuffed in the storeroom of the barge.

Job done.

The DM tells the PCs, if Olek stays fairly well isolated for the rest of the day (the duration of his Cold is only 1 day- good roll) then I will allow the other three PCs to make a +40 Endurance check, now- to see if they’re going to also succumb to the infection.

Fergus and Frederich are all good.

Lothar rolls a ‘100’.

He’s already used all his Fortune Points today.

The word ‘reciprocity’ shuffles into my brain.

It’s a very good word.

SCENE 4. The Morning After the Night Before.

The Berebeli is on the river early doors, this after Josef awakes the PCs at the crack of dawn- he has a few last errands to run in Altdorf, and then they’re off.

So, it comes to pass.

But Uncle Josef is in a foul mood this morning, eventually the Berebeli gets into the channel, and the PCs have been introduced to the other crew members- Wolmar and Gildar and little baby Elsa, and… Josef wants a word- “NOW!”

The PCs, somewhat sheepishly, are herded into a cabin-

“WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?”

And then the PCs get to explaining, mostly Lothar doing the chat, in short- Olek had a Cold and, but, “NO!” Joseph doesn’t mean then, he wants to know what happened earlier in the evening, or else later in the evening. Did the PCs head back into Altdorf when he was asleep?

Uncle Joseph is furious.

The PCs are not sure what they are being asked to explain, although they’re not trying to work it out either- they’re mostly just talking over each other to tell a variety of stories about last night’s events.

It is chaos.

And so Josef stops the bickering.

6.08.jpg

“Olaf the Giant, Wanted!” Josef berates his young nephew, “for the murder of a noble”, Josef asked around, “a Georg Von-Somethingorother! What the hell happened last night?”

Eventually an explanation takes shape, the PCs have no idea who killed Georg, although some of them have their suspicions, they are however certain of their actions last evening, and explain to Josef all that occurred.

Lothar even managed to extract one of the Purple Hand tattoos from one of the fallen cultists, he used his special interrogation tools. He shows Josef his work- grisly!

It’s all coming back to Josef, and the PCs checks, now they have decided to try and make some, are all good to great.

Normal service is resumed.

We’re on the Berebeli bound for Bogenhafen.

What could possibly go wrong?

And that’s all she wrote this session, except to say in the final moment, Lothar delivered the following-

“I’m sorry about last night Josef. I’d like to make amends, I’d like for you to teach me how to be a Boatman, Josef. It seems an honest trade, and perhaps one to which I may prove suited. I think I’ll leave the Witch Hunting to your nephew Frederich for now.”

Josef shakes Lothar’s proffered hand whole-heartedly.

Note, I made the offer- a free (0 XP) transfer to Boatman if you join the crew of the Berebeli, Kev (playing Lothar) has decided, he’s going to try and take every free opportunity that comes up along the way- and see where it takes him.

Note, back at the beginning when we randomly rolled these PCs up Jim (playing Frederich) did everything he could to become a Witch Hunter. Kev (playing Lothar) took the first roll of every dice and lucked into Witch Hunter.

He’s going to try to continue that approach it seems.

The final XP table for this session is below.

PCRumoursMax ErnstTo Me?BerebeliSession XPTotal
Fred (Jim)07254559
Fergus (Ben)08254560
Olek (George)06254053
Lothar (Kev)27253551

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
 

GuyBoy

Hero
Love this story.
We played out the Odenhaller Contract in Altdorf before heading to Bogenhafen, but I’m really enjoying both the memories and the differences in your campaign.
Keep the blunderbuss, fellow Sigmarites; it will save your lives!
 


Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Love this story.
We played out the Odenhaller Contract in Altdorf before heading to Bogenhafen, but I’m really enjoying both the memories and the differences in your campaign.
Keep the blunderbuss, fellow Sigmarites; it will save your lives!
I've got the Oldenhaller Contract and my thought is I may run it later for these guys, as a kind of flashback, or else... well, something like that.

I've DMed the Oldenhaller Contract previously, but that was back when it first came out- a lot of fun, I enjoyed it tremendously.

So, it's an option.

Thanks for the kind words- no game tonight, next session 16th.

Cheers goonalan.
 


Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.

The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.

SESSION #07 Slow Barge to Weissbruck.

The PCs

Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.
Looks Like:
Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.
Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.

Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.
Looks Like:
Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.
Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.
Looks Like:
Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.
Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.

Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.
Looks Like:
Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding, and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.
Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Hmmm…

It’s an odd one this one, a very good session, in part, but… at times they’re still not getting WFRP, they keep playing D&D. They think a trip to the inn is downtime.

You’ll see.

I had a long chat with my bro (Kev, playing Lothar) after the session and it was him that brought it up, to paraphrase he said something like-

“We’re still not getting it, we arrive in a scene and… don’t really get on with it, we just do our own thing. We need to start treating scenes like combat in D&D, we need to have a plan- and to recognise earlier that there’s stuff we need to get done, that there’s something to achieve.”

We’ll have a chat in game in the next session, which is on the 30th, and remember it’s a late start because Kev is driving back from York.

And so…

Here we go again.

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
From Altdorf on the Weissbruck Canal.


SCENE 1. The Roadwardens.


So, the PCs are aboard the Berebeli, having been hired by Josef Quartjin (Uncle of Olek & Frederich) to help him transport a variety of fine wines to the Schaffenfest, in Bogenhafen. However, the adventurers are keen to leave Altdorf, this because of the fracas the previous evening in the Boatman Inn, or else whatever happened after that on the docks- at present Olaf the Giant (Olek Hass to his friends) is being sought by the Altdorf Watch for the murder of a young noble last eve.

He didn’t do it of course, but that’s really not the issue.

As I say, the PCs are keen to be elsewhere.

7.01.jpg

The Empire map shows the PCs journey so far- all the way from Ubersreik, although we only catch up with their story on the road to Altdorf.

There follows ten minutes of scene setting as the Berebeli moves through the Reiksport, and then onto the Weissbruck Canal proper, the PCs are keeping busy on the boat- although there’s not much for them to do yet. Josef will be teaching them how to Sail the Berebeli (if they make the checks) in the next scene.

However, soon after on the Weissbruck Canal, Josef spots horsemen approaching along the towpath- Olek makes himself scarce, hiding below decks, and… Roadwardens, lots of them- at least a dozen, all on horse- all armoured and armed, and they are all tough looking SoBs.

7.02.jpg

Particularly the Road Captain, Heinrich Steele, who quickly introduces himself.

Josef and Heinrich pass the time of day for a while, note the PCs (all of them except Olek, he’s hiding) are busying themselves about the boat.

I asked them repeatedly while the conversation between Josef and Heinrich was going on- “What are you doing?” My attempt to get at the essence of ‘busying’.

‘Busying’, for Lothar & Fred, involves endlessly and repeatedly coiling a (singular, although one each) length of rope- really really neatly, they are in competition it seems- neatest coiled rope wins.

Fergus meantime is walking his imaginary dog ‘Rufus’ around the barge.

Just to note Fergus has developed over the last few sessions a marvellous new way of obfuscating anything he says, he employs this technique particularly when he is replying to a would-be interrogator, and particularly someone like Heinrich Steele, someone in authority.

His marvellous new method?

Everything he says sort of makes sense but is, mostly unintelligible, the listener must strive to fathom out his answers, and yet even then…

Remember bluff northern accent.

“I wer’ sayin’ yer, but a meant- nah, if yer get me? It’s comp-li-cated, but at tha’ same time, not- but nah simple. If yer get me?”

In between his mile long mean nothing answers he weaves his secondary formula for success (or else incomprehension)- he just replies “yer” or “nah”, and often says both in a way that leaves the questioner still unsure as to whether Fergus was agreeing or disagreeing with whatever was being said/or else asked of him.

And so, Heinrich Steele, Road Captain is very keen to pass the time of day, with Josef and with his crew- who are (eventually) introduced to him.

The Road Captain is obviously keen to learn how this motley crew- including a Burner, most odd- came to be travelling on a barge down the Weissbruck?

It’s a good question, or else a series of good questions, as Heinrich has other queries.

Note, Heinrich is garrulous, and polite, and well-spoken, although his gimlet eyes burn holes, silently, in those being interviewed.

Heinrich further reveals, casually and in passing, that he’s aware of the bad business on the Altdorf docks last night, including the murder of three folk- two burghers of the city (To me… To You) and more importantly a fine young noble in the prime of his life, Georg Somethingorother.

The PCs begin to fret, as does Josef.

Note, throughout the chitter chatter so far the PCs are doing the following-

Fergus- answering questions but not making a lot of sense, see above.

Frederich- being as nice as pie, courteous and considerate- very helpful, and very respectful- he loves a bit of proper (nasty-ish) authority does Fred, he aspires to be like these people, I think.

Lothar- much more relaxed, off hand- like he belongs here (he’s a Boatman now).

Olek- terrified and in hiding.

The chatter goes on, with the dozen or so Roadwardens tracking the barge, that is until Heinrich asks to come aboard.

Just him, and again- it’s all very polite.

And so it comes to pass, at the next docks/jetty the Berebeli gets close enough for Heinrich to leap on to the deck.

The tension goes up a notch as the conversation continues, although a little later Heinrich is clearly enjoying himself when Josef allows him to take the tiller, under instruction he makes a good show of steering the vessel. Impressive.

But the chatter goes on… and Heinrich is very much about wanting to know where exactly the PCs were on Altdorf docks last night, and when. Note, they put themselves in the frame earlier on in the chatter.

Also, every now and then and throughout this conversation Heinrich, repeatedly, asks Frederich for his full name. The Road Captain even makes Fred spell his second name, at least twice.

“Hass, you say? H-A-S-S. Yes, I have it now. Good. Sorry, citizen- I interrupted you, you were saying…”

Eventually the conversation turns to bribery (it didn’t have to- there were other routes), although Frederich has been trying to steer the chatter in this direction for quite a while now.

It seems a Roadwarden’s lot is a tough one, and a little wine to wash away the dirt of another day spent in the saddle… Josef is as keen as the PCs to get Heinrich off his barge, and so a case of the good stuff is shuttled to the riders on the towpath.

Then, at the next jetty along Road Captain Steele is let off, his last words.

“Say farewell from me to your brother Olek”, are whispered in Frederich’s ear.

Well, here’s the thing- there was more to be had from this scene but, the PCs missed it.

Here’s a clue.

Over the course of the scene Heinrich asked maybe a dozen questions, more or less everything he said was a question, or else required reply.

What questions did you ask?

It was a difficult one, I’m happy to admit, but… you missed it.

There’s always a point to a scene, and the point is usually something more than just what’s going on. You have to figure it out, or else ask questions…

Questions are always good.

This is the second time you’ve missed the point of a scene.

The other one you missed?

The baggage thief in Altdorf, again it was a difficult one, but- you missed it.

What was the baggage thief scene for?

To steel a bag?

Nope.

We’ll have a brief chat about this next session.

SCENE 2. Slow Barge to Weissbruck.

Check this out-

7.03.jpg

That’s right- a worksheet and instructions, ex-bloody lecturer wouldn’t you know it.

So, here’s the deal, I didn’t think anyone would change career to Boatman (Lothar surprised me) but regardless I wanted to show the PCs how they can go about learning a new Skill, in this instance the Advanced Skill- Sail.

It’s three days on the Weissbruck Canal to… well, Weissbruck. Then a stop to unload/load the Berebeli, then- four more days on the River Bogen to… well, Bogenhafen.

The PCs have seven days on the barge and the opportunity to garner one free point in the Sail Skill.

Note, the initial reaction to this was groans, and laughter, and then…

They really started to get into it.

I mean they really started trying- even spending Fortune Points to re-roll skill checks.

I believe at least one individual spent all of their Fortune Points for the session doing this.

So, the PCs need to accumulate five successes (at various tasks) to get a free point in Sail.

The PCs can attempt a variety of things/skills to gain a success, but each attempt takes six hours of hard honest work. So, six hours on watch, six hours foraging/fishing etc. These activities can account for three successes maximum.

They each however also need to accumulate at least two successful Sail tests, although none of them have Sail right now so that’s a plain old Agility test.

Note, for Lothar this is his intro to the Boatman career, and thus he has not been allowed to spend any XP on his new class skills yet including Sail.

So, spreadsheet update time, and keep in mind by the time we get to Weissbruck several of the PCs (Frederich & Fergus) are doing 18-hour shifts trying to stack up the required 5 successes.

Note, for other DMs I treated learning a new skill by mixing up Skill Challenges (4e D&D and elsewhere) with Endeavours (WFRP 4e).

7.04.jpg

That’s Weissbruck in the background, and the spreadsheet is complete, and at the halfway stage of the journey-

Olek has accumulated 2 successes so far, both in Sail- the reason, his other skills are shot, his Agility (for the Sail check) is much better than any of the others he could try to attempt. He needs three more successes on the trip on the Bogen, in any applicable skill, although the likelihood is he’s just going to keep on trying to Sail the damn barge.

Fergus has also accumulated 2 successes so far, alas neither of them in Sail (his Agility is something like ‘19’). Why this is more remarkable is the Dawi has a couple of useful skills in the 50s, he just keeps on rolling high, and even when he Fortune Points it… he rolls high again. I think he made five checks in in a row that were all 80+. He needs three more successes on the trip on the Bogen, in any applicable skill. Note Fergus also has two points of advantage on his next Sail check.

Frederich has accumulated 4 successes, including one in Sail. He needs one more Sail success on the trip on the Bogen, and with that in mind he also has one point of advantage on his next Sail check.

Lothar has also accumulated 4 successes, including the required two in Sail. He just needs one more success in any applicable skill during the remainder of the trip.

Just to note, each evening on the Weissbruck Canal the Berebeli is moored at a canal-side inn, supper is taken at the establishment, although Josef is no longer paying and so the fare is much simpler; also, the PCs get a chance to snoop around for hot gossip.

Lothar, as usual, also manages to learn a new rumour, they only need one more now to get the full house.

SCENE 3. Hey that’s…

The Berebeli makes its way through the last lock and onto the River Bogen, and from there across to the docks at Weissbruck. The barge is just approaching its mooring spot and…

Three of the PCs are taking in the sights- the bustling docks with stevedores hard at work, and beyond the cobbled streets leading up and into the town proper. A short way up the throughfare the PCs spot the Black Gold, a dockside inn that Josef has told them about, he plans to eat at the inn this evening.

However, one of their number has seen something else.

Fergus spots a thickset fellow in the doorway of the aforementioned Black Gold, it’s the guy with the scar around his neck- the Man in Black that the PCs are looking for, and… their eyes meet. The thickset fellow swiftly turns and enters the inn, the last glimpse showing the big man’s crossbow. This is the same fellow, and that was the same weapon, that Fergus saw (and only Fergus) in the dockside alley back in Altdorf.

He’s certain.

And…

Fergus lets his comrades know- and that he’s certain that this was the same guy from the Konigsplatz, and the same guy that shot and killed the two would-be cultists on the docks in Altdorf (To Me… To You), just standing in the doorway of the Black Gold watching them arrive.

The PCs chatter/bicker/stew for… well, maybe fifteen minutes.

The Berebeli has moored and is in the process of being unloaded by the time the PCs decide what comes next, which is- to get their fighting trousers (and all other arms and armour) on, and then head for the Black Gold.

The module book presumes the PCs, on spotting the bad dude, will immediately jump ship and go after him, but…

Not so much.

The PCs get to the Black Gold, order drinks- and in the case of Fergus meet and then get talking to a group of Dawi miners that are already ensconced within the bar. In short order, and by his own volition, Fergus has failed three Consume Alcohol checks. Then, only a short while later- as the hard drinking continues, he fails another, and he has to roll on the Bad Drunk table, or whatever it’s called, and ends up capable of only performing either a Move or an Action on a Turn, but not both.

The other PCs… I can’t really remember what they did.

I can remember what they didn’t do.

They didn’t have a look around the bar- for the bad guy, and they didn’t really ask any questions about the guy that Fergus just saw, the guy that they just had a meeting about, the guy they are looking for.

Fergus, having established a rapport with the dwarf miners, well… asks them how they are.

The PCs settle in for dinner.

Oh, and Olek went off into town to find the Temple of Sigmar.

I realise that according to the book I should have tried to shoot and kill Olek at this point but… I just didn’t have the heart to do it, the stuff in the bar was going so badly I just thought- do you know what, they’ve not figured out that they are in a scene and… they need to be doing something.

The PCs were just- roleplaying, relaxing. They’d forgotten, or else weren’t that bothered about the guy that Fergus spotted.

I didn’t get it at the time, I don’t really get it now- I can make it much more overt, which I had to do in the end- in this session, but you are going to have to be smarter than this.

I set up the scene- bad guy spotted.

I made sure you had connected the dots- that you knew that this was the guy that you were after.

I said you were in a scene, and…

You collectively chose to do something else, or else nothing else.

It’s a little frustrating to watch. I kept saying things like- ‘are you looking around the bar?’, ‘is there anything you want to ask the barman?’

But it wasn’t until I said something like- “think of this as a sort of skill challenge…”, and then suddenly you were up and at ‘em.

To the Players-

WFRP requires (at least the version I am trying to get going here) a bit more thought, possibly also a bit more discussion.

And a bit more risk.

So, as above- I set up the scene, there’s the bad man.

You had a chat with each other- and went around the houses, trying to figure out who this guy is looking for- Olek the Giant, or else Lothar/Kastor, and this chat went on for a while.

You seem to like chatting about what you think you know, a lot.

Why not go and ask the feller?

To be clear, if you had got off the boat and gone after him as soon as you saw him- then there was a clear and distinct chance that you would be able to find him.

But you missed it.

Then, here’s the thing- you spend five minutes tooling up, which I get- cautious.

But ask yourself why you are being cautious- because the man you are after is very tough, he shot two guys down while you watched on.

Then you go to the bar and… don’t ask, or look, for the guy- he was the reason you were there, right? The reason you all got tooled up…

So, incredibly cautious.

Then one of you gets drunk, and so drunk that he is not going to function well at anything else- chatter or combat. Fergus is -30 on everything atm.

I don’t understand.

You do something incredibly (incredibly) cautious and then you risk it all on a random roll, or three.

Also.

Do you remember me getting you to make lots (and lots) of Perception and Intuition checks while what followed in Weissbruck went on, when you were moving from bar to bar- trying to follow various leads.

Why do you think that was?

I did this repeatedly.

And I do mean repeatedly, at least a dozen rolls for Perception between the four of you, and nearly as many Intuition rolls.

Why did I keep doing that?

I think WFRP is harder to play than D&D, because you have to clever a lot more of the time, or else you’ll just miss it.

I have regrets, I truly do.

I should have shot Olek when I had the opportunity, that would have concentrated minds.

I will try harder next time.

I promise.

Back to the scene.

So, eventually the guys start asking questions- this soon after I had explained that it would be judicious to ask questions if you want to find out the answers, or else if you want to locate the Man in Black.

And so eventually the PCs learn after buying drinks and questioning a number of folk in the Black Gold that the Man in Black is called Adolf, and the scar around his neck was from when someone tried to hang him.

Furthermore, the feller has been in Weissbruck for a day at least already, and that he seems to be on the look-out for someone, always hanging around the docks. Then the breakthrough- the PCs learn that the Man in Black is staying at another tavern in the town- The Happy Man.

Just to say- once you got into it, finding things out, it was glorious to behold.

I’m not just being an arse here, I just don’t understand what you are doing at times, and from observation neither do you.

It’s the same every time (in every scene), if you don’t know- have a chat (even OOC is fine with me, WFRP is harder/cleverer) and come up with a plan. It is your job to make sense of what’s going on- this story is happening to you.

And I get that some people may think that they are roleplaying, but they’re really not- they are making things harder for their PCs to play a part in the game.

WFRP is a hard enough game already, you are expected to die- or to suffer, don’t make it any harder for yourselves, pretty please.

But again- when you get going you are superb, a delight.

And so, the PCs head to The Happy Man- which is a nicer, a more local sort of bar, and there they spend a little more money and time, doing more of the same- Gossiping, and Charming, and chatting to various folk, and in some cases Intimidating them into telling them what they know, and it works beautifully.

Once it gets going it really is great- with PCs backing each other up, helping with the use of supplementary skills, and lots and lots of great roleplay.

You are great at this stuff, you got through the challenge in double quick time, and even with Fergus having to be propped up, or else sat down and/or left slumped in a corner.

Anyway, in the Happy Man the PCs learn that Adolf, if that’s his name, is- several folk here think, travelling from Altdorf to Bogenhafen, the same as the PCs. Odd that.

It’s all going very well when a fellow drinker in the Happy Man declares that he heard that ‘Adolf’ was staying at the Black Gold, and so now the PCs are getting suspicious- they figure, because they are very clever, that ‘Adolf’ has laid a trail for them to follow. Therefore, after another discussion and more chatter with the locals they learn that the only other proper tavern in Weissbruck is a place called The Trumpet, which is a bit more up-market.

The PCs are going to take a short cut.

Genius.

They head to The Trumpet to continue their enquiries. The Trumpet, as it turns out, is much more expensive, and has a restaurant with a maitre’d and liveried waiting staff, and… the PCs get a table and straight into action anyway.

Frederich scores highly by speaking very slowly, and in a menacing whisper while all the while looking like he is moments away from putting whoever he is addressing on a pyre. This works well on several of the waiters, and a couple of the garrulous merchants dining here.

And again (this to the players), you are very good at this stuff- you should probably try to do it more often.

So, more info is learned, although pointedly not where ‘Adolf’ is staying in Weissbruck, the PCs however are made aware that the fellow has been asking around a lot on the docks- talking to lots of folk there and has been seen conversing with some of the rougher and/or shadier sorts.

The PCs eventually head back to the Berebeli, it’s getting late- and Fergus is a mess, however it’s at this point that they actually succeed at a few Perception and/or Intuition checks, and… they’re certain that someone is following them.

Or else the checks just got easier for some reason.

An ambush is prepared, like back on the Altdorf docks, and… a fellow is caught in their trap, although the fellow is definitely not the guy that they are after- it’s not ‘Adolf’, the Man in Black. It’s one of the waiters from The Trumpet, and this fellow has more info- and the desire to trade what he knows for ready coin.

The PCs buy in and learn from the waiter, Ruprick, that the Man in Black/’Adolf’ is actually a fellow called Adolphus Kuftsos, and he’s a very nasty piece of work.

Years past, so Ruprick’s story goes, Adolphus and his travelling companions (on a coach) were held-up and captured by bandits- robbed, beaten and abused, and then hung, only Adolphus didn’t die- he escaped with his life. From then on, he made it his life’s purpose to hunt the bandits that hung him down. Which he did, and he killed every one of him- and received the reward for each, it was at this point that Adolphus became a Bounty Hunter, but that was some time ago. Since then… well, Ruprick speculates- he’s just got tougher, and nastier, and even better at his job. Ruprick, as it turns out, worked alongside Adolphus a few years back, although he didn’t know at the time that he was an undercover Bounty Hunter- he got his man then too. It was only later, after Adolphus had moved on, that Ruprick picked up the rest of his story.

The guys are… I think a mixture of things, intrigued- certainly very way, and more than a little bit relieved.

Adolphus may be one of the good guys, but now they really do want to talk things through, and so back to the Berebeli and straight into their cabin for much more chatter.

SCENE 4. Burning Man.

We’re on the Berebeli, it’s gone midnight- everyone else is in bed asleep, and yet the PCs are very much not for sleeping, they have much to talk about.

The mystery they are trying to solve is why Adolphus is after them, if indeed that is what he is doing.

There are a variety of explanations offered, some of the PCs think that Adolphus is following Lothar (or else Kastor Lieberung) while some others thing that the Man in Black is after Olek, for killing (not) the noble in Altdorf.

The discussion gets lengthy and has more than a few brief moments of tetchy.

Then Fergus, remarkably, and a few of the others spot that the smoke from the boiler in their cabin is no longer escaping up the chimney, it is instead spewing into the room.

Note, this was a difficult Perception check (-10) more remarkably three of the four PCs made it.

Then Lothar hears footsteps, there’s someone moving around on the deck above the cabin (where the chimney is), and someone else moving around on the deck of the boat proper- they’re just outside of the door to the cabin in which the adventurers sit, Olek thinks.

Moments later big man rushes out of the door and onto deck.

7.06.jpg

It’s at that moment that a weaselly fellow, just ahead of Olek, hurls what looks to be a burning bucket of pitch at the giant man, only- well he doesn’t. At all.

Six failures on that check.

The idiot intruder windmills the bucket and while doing so connects with a stack of crates by his side- the burning bucket’s rotation is swiftly curtailed, the container splits and breaks, and showers the weaselly guy with burning pitch.

He’s on fire.

His screams bring the rest of the PCs running, or else they will at the start of the next session, which will probably be the last for a while as we are going back to D&D, just as soon as we get the guys to Bogenhafen.

The final XP table for this session is below.

PCRumoursRoadwardensFinding AdolfSession XPTotal
Fred (Jim)0244551
Fergus (Ben)0224044
Olek (George)0234045
Lothar (Kev)1234046

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
 

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