Warhammer World Building creates campaign settings using Cubicle 7’s Warhammer RPGs: Soulbound (PDF only), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (PDF), and Wrath & Glory (PDF only). Each RPG features player characters exploring a world of magic and monsters that is threatened by the forces of Chaos. This month covers what the final chapter of the Enemy Within, the Empire in Ruins Companion, brings to WFRP.
River Life gave options for river adventures using Death on the Reik (PDF only) and its Companion (PDF only). The Empire of the Old World was a look at Archives of the Empire Volume I (PDF only). A later article provided a comprehensive look at Middenheim (PDF only). And two months ago, Power Behind the Throne (PDF only) and its Companion (PDF only) were explored in depth. My thanks to Cubicle 7 for providing physical copies of these books to help in my continuing exploration of everything Warhammer RPG related.
The Empire in Ruins Companion (PDF only) covers a wide range of topics that enhance an Enemy Within campaign and will be useful to any GM running Warhammer and wanting to build up the world. If the PCs are traveling between Altdorf and Middenheim they may be asked by priests to bring relics and gold to The Place of the Shining Rock. Fanatics may threaten them, eager to take the relics. Bandits might covet the gold. And rumor has it that the white wolf named Skaar is hunting near the shrine. Some want to kill it, and others want to protect it. Either way, it is another challenge the PCs may wish to take up.
PCs in Altdorf may feel the unrest as the Empire starts to unravel and even a prophecy of great doom coming soon. For grognards like myself who have played earlier versions of Warhammer, there is this gem: ‘I see fire and slaughter sweeping the land! I see cities burning, and rivers afire! I see the Empire in Flames!’
For areas more deeply under the influence of Chaos like Altdorf, there is a new Miscast Table. And the blue scribes of Tzeentch threaten, casting random magic and spreading Chaos. Having seen these things at work in Soulbound, I can appreciate the danger they herald. There are also other daemon threats like Flamers of Tzeentch and Mutants. There are several encounters included that GM can include to spice up Altdorf, like animated objects coming to life and attacking. And the event where an entire wizard’s house is swallowed by the Realm of Chaos could be followed up with a Blue Scribe, a handful of Blue Horrors, and two Flamers of Tzeentch who step through, intent on building their own twisted home where the wizard’s house used to be.
Three chapters are devoted to what happens after The Enemy Within wraps, or, with the Changling, right before. If you decide to run a campaign right after those events and ran those adventures, you can use this information to determine what the Empire looks like after those tumultuous and terrifying times.
Even if you didn’t run the campaign, you could use these chapters to set up your own version of the Empire, perhaps one torn apart by civil war. This setup could support a unique Warhammer campaign all you own with a post-apocalyptic feel.
Four highly powered monsters are also included, beasts of such power that an army might be required to fight them instead of just a band of adventurers. The Mourngal is a vampiric frigid monster with terrible claws. Curs’d Ettins have a deadly dangerous hammer hand and might have a second spellcasting head. Colossal Squigs are massive beasts under so much internal that they explode when killed. The Necrofex Colossus is an undead beast infused with necromantic magic. If a GM wishes, it can serve as the capstone encounter in the included Gravelord adventure.
In addition to monsters, NPCs are included as well. The Road to Blackfire Pass introduces the deserter Gregor Smiesdorf, and The Wandering Scholar, a well-informed traveler. While both specifically enhance events in The Empire in Ruins, they can also pass on information in other situations.
Finally, three adventures are included. The Bigger They Are is set in the town of Kenselheim, which can be placed almost anywhere in the Empire. A GM can place it anywhere the PCs are traveling. A nobleman wants the PCs to remove the local magistrate’s judicial champion, an ogre pit fighter. With the ogre out of the way, the nobleman will then challenge the magistrate to trial by combat to reclaim his ancestral lands. The ogre is a fearsome opponent, so the PCs will have to come up with a plan to overcome him. Some may try straight-up combat, while others might try guile or other means to win the day. Stats are provided for the ogre, a dog, and several NPCs.
In The Siege of Diesdorf, the PCs are asked to lead the defense of Diesdorf, a Reikland force, against an attacking cult army 4,000 strong. The cult of the Red Crown from Middenheim has been gathering mutants and Beastmen to wage war on the Empire, starting with this attack. If they defeat Diesdorf and seize its arms, they march on Altdorf next. Whether the PCs decide to help or not and how they run the defense will determine whether Diesdorf stands or is defeated. This adventure includes maps of the town and surrounding areas, a calendar of unfolding events, and monster and NPC stat blocks. There are also victory points listed for each side, which can calculate the final outcome based on what events take place during the battle.
Triumph of the Gravelords is large enough that a GM could flesh it out and make it into a campaign series of adventures, especially if the Necrofex Colossus is used as a capstone encounter. The adventure takes place in five parts. Gräber is a dangerous necromancer whose plots keep getting interrupted by the PCs. The adventure includes a Warhammer bit of history on the Lichemaster, two legends, a random encounter table of undead, and stats for Gräber, a new spell, and several of his undead minions.
The book wraps with four handouts, two of which are maps.
GMs can use The Empire in Ruins Companion to enhance an ongoing Enemy Within campaign. GMs can also use this book after that campaign wraps or even for their own homebrew campaign. Triumph of the Gravelords, in particular, could serve a GM as the foundation for building a unique Empire and adventures to go with that setting. What a great book to wrap the whole series with. All ten of these books shape and change an Empire campaign, creating a world wholly unique to each GM and their group of PCs. Highly recommended.
Next month a new year begins in our real world. There will be a new world building series starting in January, helping GMs build a brand-new setting as the new year kicks off.
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