Monday, February 21, 2011

Mini Review of Plundered Vaults and Report on Sessions 3 & 4 (WFRP)

One of my players all ready posted a report of session 3, but I wanted to add my own short report of that session and session 4 in preparation of session 5 tomorrow night and as a mini-review of the adventure and book it is found in itself.

I've been running my players through an adventure called "Sing for Your Supper" which is included in the book Plundered Vaults which you can read about here.

The book includes 3 reprints:"Rough Night at the Three Feathers", "Grapes of Wrath" and "The Haunting Horror"; and three new adventures: "For Love of Money", "Carrion Call" and the adventure at hand, "Sing for Your Supper".

Before I get to "Sing" I will say a few short words about the book itself. When it was first published in 2005 by Black Industries, it represented exactly what I had hoped for in a second edition of WFRP. When Hogshead (hereby designated "HH") stopped publishing the first edition of the game, fans such as myself were left in hiatus. HH had promised reprints of many long out of print Games Workshops titles. I was eager to buy, read and play a promised revision of the final chapter of the Enemy Within Campaign. The original "Empire in Flames", I have never owned, read nor played, but from what I've gathered, it was a flopping disappointed. I had managed by haunting my local game store and shopping online, to acquire most of the original first edition books; however, a few always alluded me. "Empire in Flames" and "The Restless Dead" were two of the few I have not yet managed to acquire. For the most part, I've given up on finding those books I've missed. The Doomstones Campaign never held much interest for me and the uber hard to find Realm of Chaos titles are too expensive for my purse.

Plundered Vaults was an early publication in the new line up. It included two scenarios from The Restless Dead, two adventures I did not own, and three new adventures. It seemed things were of to a good start. Black Industries was doing as promised. They were bringing back some hard to find older materials and publishing new material to boot. To their credit, before 2nd edition went "tits up" this promise was mostly carried out; however, a revision of "Empire in Flames" went, well, up in flames (pun intended). Now, with 3rd edition being published by Fantasy Flight Games, it is once again in doubt that an official revision to the seminal conclusion of TEW will ever see light. Three is a wonderful fan created re-imagining available by the golden pen worthy MadAlfred available for download here (I discourage my players from downloading and reading it).

I chose to open my campaign with "Sing for Your Supper" because it offered my favorite style of WFRP adventure which includes investigation, creeping doom and just the right mixture of combat. Written by Nathan Greavey, "Sing" is not a perfect adventure. While it does not necessarily depend upon players being led by their noses, it does make a few leaps in faith that players WILL follow up on sometimes obscure leads. I anticipated this ahead of time, and was able to fill in the blanks by making things jive on the fly. This didn't bother me for as GM, I welcome this opportunity. It did do exactly what I wanted. It served as a nice introduction to the flavor of the city of Nuln and despite a few false starts and a bit of moving things along on my part, it was a good investigation adventure. I added a bit more combat then was originally called for, but I did this by choice to knock the dust off the WFRP percentile dice. Now I will address the sessions themselves.

Session 3 was our first evening with no combat. There was actually minimal rolling of the dice. After the action heavy session 2, this was a nice change of pace. The players dug into the meat of the investigation itself and moved things along nicely. There were only three players for this session. Our new player was once again a no-show, and was for session 4 as well. We have not heard from him and at this point, I've ruled his character on official "Red-Shirt" status. Our out of town player was having technical difficulties and was thus unable to Skype in.

Session 4 was a different beast. We were up to what I now consider full-force, our out of town player was able to Skype in. As a group, they quickly followed up on loose ends from session 3 which launched them into the final confrontation with the adventure's villain, Emil Stark. This final confrontation involved confronting Emil himself, whom they killed, and encountering two beasts of chaos, the poor missing daughter of the butcher Herr Fleischer and a missing noble rake named Rudi who had also been horribly mutated.

In the end, despite the fact that the girl and her father were given the final mercy by Shallyan Priests, they received their promised reward of 25 gold crowns, quite a small fortune. Gottfried, our initiate of Sigmar, received a critical wound to the left hand. No doubt, they will spend part of session 5 learning the fate of Gottfried - it is not known at this point if he will be able to keep his hand -and spending some of their new found wealth. After this, I will launch them into an entirely different style of adventure.

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