Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Enemy Within - Shadows over Bogenhafen - part 3

We continued our monthly marathon game sessions in December finishing Shadows over Bogenhafen. This is a challenging adventure to run. I recently added my thoughts on how best to run this adventure on the WFRP Google+ community. Here's what I said:

If your players know about the warhammer world probably the first thing they do once they work out chaos is involved is head to the Temple of Sigmar. You'll need to write something up for the priest Priest of Sigmar. 

Also write down a list of all the names and a brief description of each character for your reference. Do the same for the major locations. Include a page reference back to the book so you can find more info in a hurry. All this should fit on a page, be very brief.

Be prepared to substitute plot points to different Characters. I had Steinhager replace Magirius' role in the adventure as I couldn't see Magirius slotting in. I also had the purple brain fever hit the Priest of Sigmar as the group were using him to romp towards victory.

Be prepared for the players to hate Dr Malthusius despite him being written as somewhat sympathetic in the module.

And cut them some slack, not every lead needs to be a dead end.

If you have time search the strike to stun forum or rpgnet for threads about Bogenhafen or the Enemy Within.

There are 5 parts total to the whole of Shadows over Bogenhafen. I have posted links to part 1 and 2 in prior posts. Here is the latest part 3 of the recordings. Part 4 and 5 to come.

Key points from part 3:

  • PC Walter's regulary performance at the tavern, The Vexed Pig, was interrupted by a group of thugs, whom he'd later learn were stevedores. They delivered a warning to get out of town.
    'You had better leave town.' - Stevedores.
  • Anton, the warehouse guard the group had earlier interrogated about the crate falling on the 3 legged goblin, was re questioned late in the night. They learn that Gideon Tuegen supplied him with quality brandy in return for running with the goblin death by crate story. They also learned from Anton that the head of House Teugen died some years ago under mysterious circumstances.
  • Searching for information on the Tuegens the group made the acquaintance of a Ruggbroeder family merchant who had spent time attending the same university as Johannes Tuegan. <It was a pretty amazing gossip check so I ran with it>. They learnt Johannes studied philosophy and that Gideon is meant to be a distant relative. Gideon seems to give everyone bad vibes. This merchant also told them that he had heard there was a private party planned for the Tuegan's the following night.
  • Day three, the final day of the Bogenhafen Schaffenfest dawns. Word on the street is that two bodies were fished out of the river. Anton the warehouse guard and a itinerant dwarf whose heart had been cut out. The dwarf had been found washed up against a sewer grate.
  • The Vexed Pig's cook, a woman on friendly terms with Solomon thanks to his help in the kitchen, slips word to the group that the stevedores are waiting for them in the common room. The group ponder escaping out a window and across the roofs but instead head downstairs to try their luck.
  • Eight stevedores seemed too much to handle. After some round about banter and blathering from Walter the group convinced the thugs that their food had been poisoned earlier by Solomon, who had indeed spent some time in the kitchen. The stevedores raced to the temple of Shallya stopping only to gag and vomit, ah the placebo effect. The hero's arranged through various contacts that the thugs be sent on a wild goose hunt through Bogenhafen so that they would not interfere with their plans.
  • The day earlier the group had managed to arrange a meeting with Franz Steinhager at his offices. Franz went on to explain that the whole demon in the basement affair was some great misunderstanding and that the Ordo Septenarius was in turn misunderstood. It was a secret consortium of merchants who use an element of harmless ritual to keep new recruits in line. They were on the whole a benefit to the town and did many charitable things.
  • During the conversation with Franz they managed to trick him into confirming the Tuegan's membership in the Ordo as well as the fact that there was a party at the Tuegan's that night, to which 7 others were invited.
  • Franz's hatred towards his brother Heinrich was also played upon with the group explaining how Heinrich had all but asked them to murder Franz. The Steinhager brothers had been set on a collision course.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Oldhammer - Hrothyogg Ogre Captain

Credit where it is due, the paint scheme is a direct copy of the fine work by Stone Cold Lead. His work is always exceptional and I can browse his blog for ages soaking up the inspiration.

This is Hrothyogg, he is an Ogre Captain. In the warhammer armies book you could hire ogres as mecenaries. They come in squards of 5 + the Captain and cost a truck load of points. Back when I was a kid I would use the plastic ogres from hero quest in my Orc and Goblin army. Those plastic ogres are long gone and looked crap to be honest. 

I have Skraag the slaughter still to paint and in a pinch could strip and repaint 2 of my maruader ogres. I can't say I like the puff and slash marauder ogres but there are enough fans out there that they go for crazy prices. If I am honest I will probably scrounge up 2 more Jes Ogres from ebay to complete the unit, but not this year. I have spent too much already.
I can improve the basing but otherwise I am stoked with this model.
Not much going on at the back.
3 Ogres, on the way to a unit of 6.

Oldhammer - December - Skaven and pigments

I needed some Skaven. I don't use mini's in the running of 'The Enemy Within' campaign, I find they slow the action down, but I still like to collect relevant models. You never know, I might use them one day. All four made their way from the US courtesy of Blue in VT.

The colour scheme is 'inspired' by Nico's excellent skaven which in turn were inspired by Andy Chambers Skaven army posted in a now ancient issue of White Dwarf.

Finished Skaven. I am getting the knack of pigments and Secret Weapon washes,

On this occasion I decided to give pigments a go. I had seem a youtube video explaining how to muddy up tank tracks using pigments. I experimented on some Flames of War panzers. The results were messy and a bit rubbish. I was hesitant to crack out the pigments again. However Aggro84 gives a detailed account on how to use them that gave me the courage to have another go.

Secret Weapon 'Fallout' wash on poison wind globes.
Pigment rust on metal parts. Citadel's new Oxide on the bronze.
Pigment mud along the base of the robes.
Rusted halberd.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Oldhammer - December additions

Some models scare me. They look so neat, and there reputation for greatness is so well known that I end up scared to paint them in case I stuff them up. Jes Goodwin Ogres are in that league. The models below are close to how they finished up. Just a red wash on the leggings and a brown wash on the boots remained when I took the photos. I might go back and add a couple of mushrooms to the bases. I stuck to my safe palette but did branch out with the stripey pants.

I have heard it said that the old ogres lack a unified look. I disagree. I think as long as you keep a consistent colour scheme the group will hang together nicely. Two ogres down and two to go.
Jes Goodwin Ogres. The one on the right had his foot remodelled.
These next batch of models I finished around the end of November. I was hoping to photo them in the kitchen where there is more natural light but only recently got around to it. I experimented with green as this is not usually a colour I have confidence with. I used the secret weapon inks on the greens and above on the ogres flesh. They are tricky to use, I like to use them on the base coat before I highlight up. Don't use them as a wash though, just apply to the recesses directly.

My favourite model of the group is the poacher with the goose stuffed in his bag. I had read an earlier blogger looking to collect the set of miniatures that appeared in the colour plates in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Rulebook. That sounds like a great idea but I am in no rush. I have plenty of stuff to paint over the Christmas break.
Dwarf merchant, Gimli, Poacher and Bill the Pony.
Note goose in bag.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Enemy Within - Shadows over Boganhafen - part 2

Our hero's - Solomon, Walter, Esmerelda, Joten and Herdan.
I recorded the session I ran in November on my phone and edited it using Audacity. To keep the file size small some quality was lost and yet in the end I think things turned out fine.

Here is a link to part 2 of the recording. Part 1 can be found in this post. A summary of the key points in the second recording are below:

  • The three legged goblin, bleeding from being stabbed earlier in the day by Joten the dwarf, was tracked through the sewers. A large explosion sent several of the group tumbling into the effluent. Their torches had lit a dangerous pocket of methane gas.
  • The goblin fled to a door set with a barred window. Esmerelda's witch sight made out several spectral goats with slit throats, then she saw blood running down the walls and finally a ghostly dwarf whose heart had been cut from his body. The dwarf looked familiar as the group had earlier seen him in the stocks but had ignored his cries. Given the manifestations it was clear to Esmerelda that something terrible had happened just beyond the door.
  • Through the grill in the door the band saw a circle of copper marked with arcane symbols and the words Ordo Septenarius. About the circle were 5 black candles. Walter the halfling smuggler, got the impression that he could find the building directly above them thanks to his superior spacial intelligence. They would later learn the building above was the Steinhager merchant families offices. Needing to find the goblin to claim their reward, the group had Joten hack the door down .
  • The minor demon in the temple looked a bit like this.
  • Upon entering the room a demon materialised. It's appearance spooked Esmerelda who fled back through the sewers. Unfortunately she slipped during her frantic escape, ending up in the brown. Joten was also spooked but stuck around to fight it out. < I am using the Dark Heresy fear rules which provide more interesting results than Warhammer's own.> Herdan and Joten flanked and destroyed the demon. It had the ignominy of being slain by a halfling's sling stone.
  • With the demon defeated the group found a handkerchief with the initials F.S, a locked iron box and pile of goblin bones. They retrieved the goblins three socketed pelvis and smashed the lock off the box. Within was a bloody Kris knife and a skull riveted with a iron band across the temple. They also find a one way secret door.
  • Whisking the evidence away, the group sought out Albrecht the High Priest of Sigmar. They told him the full story and leave the evidence with the priest for safe keeping. Albrecht agrees to accompany the group to the building with the secret basement. They agree to set out in the morning.
  • The morning of day two of the Schaffenfest saw the group approach Dr Malthusius to claim their reward. They are evasive with the Dr, not telling him what really happened. The Dr is not happy with just the three socketed pelvis as he wanted the goblin alive. The group insist they be paid and extort half payment on the condition that the group, in particular Walter, do nothing to spoil the remaining Zoocopia shows.
  • The Dr tells them he received a report that the goblin had been crushed by a falling crate in a Warehouse. Surely the watch, who told him this, had been mistaken.
  • Financially frustrated, the group visit Magistrate Richter hoping that he will at least pay them. He wont, on orders from the Town hall. He apologises on behalf of not only Bogenhafen but also on behalf of the unjust Warhammer World. The group, unsure if they can trust the Magistrate, eventually tell him all that unfolded. Richter promised to look into their claims.
  • High Priest Albrecht, flanked by Watchmen, accompany the group to the Steinhager offices. They are led to 'the room'. It's been cleaned up yet the corruption from the rituals committed is plain to those sensitive to magic. Albrecht orders Franz Steinhager be brought to the temple to face questioning. He asks that the group meet with him once he is finished with Franz and he will ensure that the group is rewarded. Once a reward is mentioned Walter is sure Albrecht will die, he's learnt that in the Old World people promise to pay you but rarely get the chance.
  • While leaving the Steinhager offices they were approached by a servant of Heinrich Steinhager who tells them his master wants to meet with them to discuss his brother Franz's unusual behaviour. Feeling suspicious and suspecting a conspiracy, the group insist on a meeting Heinrich in a public place, the exclusive Golden Trout.
  • Heinrich tells the group how he disproves of the way his bother does business. He muses that business would be better if his brother was 'gone'. He has his own suspicions regarding the 'charitable' Ordo Septenarius. The group have misgivings around Heinrich's motives.
  • With brunch done and some time before visiting Father Albrecht, the hero's head to the warehouse where the goblin was meant to have been crate crushed. They met the nightwatchman who 'found' the goblins body that had subsequently been tossed in the river. His story was light on detail and he claimed to have clubbed the goblin to death, which contradicted the crate fall story. They did learn from the warehouse foreman that Gideon Tuegen, of the Tuegen merchant family, was around that morning.
  • Their midday trip to the Temple of Sigmar was spoilt by the fact that High Priest Albrecht had taken ill immediately after a meeting with the Watch Captain and Franz Steinhager. At the conclusion of their meeting it was noted that the Watch Captain was uncharacteristically happy. The Watch Captain was commonly known as the grumpiest man in Bogenhafen.
  • A visit to Albrecht's home saw the group discover evidence of poison. Solomon visited his thief contacts at the Crossed Pikes tavern and convinced them that a poisoned High Priest would be very bad for business what with Imperial Officials sniffing around the place. It was in their interests to provide a cure. The guild agreed. Esmerelda brewed up the necessary components saving Albrecht from a magical poison known as 'Purple Brain Fever.'
  • Temple guards were posted at the High Priests home. The Watch, and in particular the Watch Captain, are suspected. 
  • The party ponder their next move as day three of the Schaffenfest approaches.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Episode 1 - The Enemy Within - Shadows over Bogenhafen

We met early November to continue The Enemy Within campaign. I blogged about part 1 Mistaken Identity - here. Shane joined the fun and was brought up to speed with Warhammer's Oldworld and his halfling smugglers place in it.

I recorded the session and it's a fun listen. You can hear what works and what falls flat. The recording was long enough that I broke it in two.

Download Episode from Google Drive (44.5MB)

Heroes present were Esmerelda the hedge witch, Joten the dwarf sewerjack, Walter the halfling raconteur, Herdan the grave warden and Solomon the halfling smuggler.

Key points from the first recording:

(01:06) Having survived an attack by the bounty hunter Adolphus in Wiessbruck, the protagonists sailed on to Bogenhafen with Joseph the boatman. They made good time and arrived the evening before Bogenhafen's famous Schaffenfest began. Walter sweet talked his friend Joseph into paying them an additional days wages. Esmerelda stressed that they had earned the additional pay as they did defend Joseph's boat from an attack by 'Crazed guys'.

(08:42) A crate of cheese, received as part payment for the 'Emperor's own crossbow' from last session, was sold to Joseph for a substantial profit thanks to the unforgiving haggle rules. It was surely 'Cheese destined for the table of the Emperor.' In fact 'The Emperor's Own ...' has become something of a catch cry for these heroes and an excuse to mark up prices substantially.

(09:51) Solomon, working for the halfling underworld, had also arrived in Bogenhafen to deliver some best quality Stygian spices just in time for the Schaffenfest. He delivered them to a halfling chef working at the Golden Trout, a high class restaurant catering to exclusive clientele. On the way there Solomon fell in with his old friend Walter and his companions.

(21:20) The group stayed at the 'Vexed Pig', a low quality dockside inn. Joten's paranoia served him well as he wedged shut the grimy window of his rented room which foiled a midnight burglary attempt.

(26:20) The group determined that the note addressed to Kastor Leiburung, Herdan the dimwitted grave wardens body double, was a fake. They worked this out when told the law firm Lock, Stock and Barl, who penned the note, did not exist.

(29:43) Walter negotiated a discount rate for the groups stay at the Vexed Pig by offering to perform a routine each night of the Schaffenfest. Solomon ingratiated himself with the kitchen staff improving the quality of their breakfasts. Halflings sure can do its cook.

(44:00) Key locations at the Schaffenfest, held just outside of town, were the jousts, fortune teller, various shops, a mobile court, stocks, a wrestling ring, livestock markets and Dr Malthusius' Zoocopia. There were rumours of an underground pit fighting ring but the band couldn't gossip up any additional details.

(49:57) Lady Talana, the inconsistently accented fortune teller, was consulted to the point of exhaustion. Various prophetic clues that seemed plausible were gained. The fortune teller would later be reported to the High Priest of Sigmar in the town. Solomon, who inadvertently dropped her in it, warned her to flee before she was seized by righteous Sigmarites.
The three legged goblin nearly died before doing anything!
(60:14) The Zoocopia was visited. An exhibit, the three legged goblin, made a dash for freedom but was 'stopped' by a brutal spear thrust from Joten. Esmerelda did her best to patch up the goblin while Dr Malthusius fretted over the viability of his stricken prize. Walter took a dislike to the Dr and yet somehow the group managed to swindle/blackmail free tickets to the show later that evening.

(70:45) Joten challenged the wrestling champion 'Crusher' in the hopes of winning a respectable amount of coin. The dice were cruel and he was trounced. Much of the parties gold is lost wagering on the outcome.

(78:28) Walter stirred up the crowd at Dr Malthusius' Zoocopia, heckling the Dr as he displayed a motley assortment of the amazing and grotesque. The three legged goblin succeeded in making a break for freedom while its handler was distracted by heckling from Walter. In the resulting chaos Walter used public speaking to incite the crowd to demand refunds.

(84:25) Oddly the crestfallen Dr asked the group to assist in retrieving the goblin who has fled into the sewers. The local magistrate offered to equip and pay them for dealing with the goblin.

(91:48) Part 1 ended just as the group prepared to enter the sewers. It seemed like a good place to take stock and grab pizzas and beers.