WFRP 4e - Year of Splendors Burning - Waterdeep-Heist-Mad-Mage-Golden-Vault-Crimson-Throne-Shattered-Obelisk Mashup


With the end of my long running Age of Worms campaign this weekend. I’m soon going to run the opening session for my Waterdeep Mashup of Dragon Heist, Dungeon of the Mad Mage, Keys from the Golden Vault, Curse of the Crimson Throne and Phandelver and Below… phew 😅

It sounds like a lot but there are a couple of caveats. Firstly I’m running it in WFRP 4e so I don’t need to worry about D&D progression. Secondly it’s going to be a sandbox with the party free to totally ignore bits they aren’t interested in and events will transpire without them. Lastly, I’ll be heavily redacting some of the elements. The plan is this should take our bi-weekly group a couple of years to play and should see them rise from Tier 1 starter characters to Tier 4 Lords of the Land (or the City) if they choose. I should also say it is being converted to WFRP 4e but there is nothing to stop folks running it in any system they like as I’ll be focussing on plot here.

First things first, Ryan, Bob, Cat and Andrew - STOP READING NOW

Now that’s out of the way. There are four main threads running through the campaign.

Brief Overview

1. The Ilithids, far below the city in Undermountain’s Sea Deeps, have used the Runestone on level 20 to open a rift to the Far Realm. This is causing magic to become unstable - explaining the miscasting of magic that occurs in WFRP. Events will transpire largely as per the later parts of Phandelver but in taking place in Undermountain. This will trigger all sorts of weirdness such as the Mirkmire stone awakening from Golden Vault, as well as wizards researching the strange effects in Reach for the Stars. The rise of a Tyrian inquisition and licensing of wizards in the city.

2. The explosion of magical energy causes Halaster’s mind to become merged with Laerl Silverhand - current archmage of the city and Lord of Waterdeep. He was scrying her at the time of the rift opening. Halasters malevolance/Madness causes her to arrange the death of the current open Lord Dagult Neverember and she manipulates the Lords to chose her Open Lord. The events of Curse of the Crimson Throne play out as she tries to turn Waterdeep into her own plaything.

3.The death of Lord Dagult Neverember reveals that 100,000 gold dragons have been embezzled from the city treasury. The events of Dragon heist play out.

4. As all this happens the PCs will be forming their own heist crew, at first under the auspices of the Golden Vault. A mysterious - seemingly benign organisation that uses daring heists to right wrongs.

Rules will be WFRP 4e with a few small modifications. Agreement has already been secured from the players that they will create characters that are interested in, and have a motivation to conduct heists. ie. anti-authoritarian. Also that they will be invested in the city and stick to that area. This is part of the deal… no heading off to explore Chult when there is plenty to do in the city.

Before session zero we are running a 3 hour one shot using pregens, which will teach the basics of WFRP 4e gameplay and Foundry VTT. Also explaining how Laerl comes into possession of a Netherese magic item that allows Halaster to scry on her directly. I think it’s highly advisable to do this kind of thing before character creation in WFRP as there are some big differences and everyone then can come along with a competent character. Session zero will then be about character creation, themes, house rules etc. Those pregens will then be written into the campaign and may be a replacement character later on if needed.

This is a work in progress. I’m going to share thoughts and use this thread to work things out as I go. Happy to answer any questions or clarify anything. My last mega mashup of Rise of the Runelords, Shattered Star and Return of the Runelords was great and lasted a year and half but ultimately floundered at level 13 because high level D&D 5e combat got quite dull and those adventures were very combat heavy. I’m hoping the nature of a heist campaign, WFRP rules and it being a city adventure will reduce the likelihood of that happening. This is an experienced group I’ve played through with for over 18 months so we all know each other pretty well by now.
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A little flavour from the Fourth Estate to get things rolling. Inspired by Maxtheman36

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