Sorry for the delay between session reports. We have been playing, I promise :)
Spoilers ahead so beware...
Ok, so the next session after the Calzone Golem had our party getting the heck out of Stormdorf for a while and we tackled Jay Hafner's Wolfship adventure. I had not expected it, but this session ended up more like a typical dungeon-crawl than any we'd played before. I had wanted to try this kind of game with WFRP but hadn't expected it to be on a nugle-infested ship. Anyway, long story short, we went from deck to deck after getting the job and ended up back on dry land chasing down a chaos spawn. Two party members were infected with bad nurgle goo and one threw-up a nurgling in the final encounter. On the downside, the party set fire to the ship in the harbor. This fouled the whole place and they needed to get out of town fast. Luckily, word of this exploit has not yet filtered back to Stormdorf. I have a feeling that won't be too much of a problem, though, and you'll see why below.
We're back in Stormdorf now and starting the Gathering Storm series. We have a new member of the party, a Bright Wizard, that joined our Dwarf Smuggler, High Elf Soldier and Human Burgher. Our other party members, a slightly crazed High Elf Bounty Hunter and Human Coachman couldn't make it for this game. We go through some more detailed history of the town and recap previous adventures and Guido and Benito give them word of the missing merchant that needs to be tracked down. Well, the signet ring that he's wearing is really more important than the guy but if you can find him, too, that'd be great. They properly track him to the Stewpot and get info (some correct / some not) from the owner and then head off to the East Gate to talk to the guards. There they find out that one of the Holtz clan was taking the cart/pony out of town and not who they are looking for. There being a discrepancy in the stories was enough to get them to head off towards the Holtz farmstead (no other in-town investigation) and on the way there they came upon the burned out farm first. Some quick investigating there and on to the Holtz's where the barn argument is going on and Tristan gets all stabby then gets beat down by the Holtz boys. Some quick thinking and talking by our dwarf gets some info (bits and pieces but all of it sounds bad) and everyone is worried about being made into sausage by the inbred hillfolk at this point.
Tristan gets tied up and carted off, screaming that they are taking him to the tree, but he ends up being tied to the porch instead. The storm starts to get really bad and the party declines an invitation to stay in the main house and camps out in the barn. Marie and the youngest Holtz girl bring the party roasted pig and moonshine for dinner and our female High Elf solder is the only one that eats/drinks. All is good with the food though and the rest just end up hungry. The Dwarf notices that Tristan is no longer tied up to the porch and gets a quick question in about a white pony to the little girl. She says that they took the pony to the tree before she gets sent back to the house with a smack from her ma. During the night all fall asleep and our Human Burgher is awoken with a big meaty hand covering his mouth (Cousin Klaus) and is dragged out before others wake up. Now we have Marie taking Otto (our PC, not the Holtz patriarch) into the woods followed by Otto (inbred Otto) and Klaus. The PC Otto is very, VERY worried that all sorts of bad things are going to happen to him out in the rainsoaked woods but he notices that Marie is just as scared as he is and that the two big lugs seem ready to tear him apart at a moment's notice.
They meet up with Foaldeath (not knowing he's a beastman immediately, but figuring it out during the conversation) and get the info about the herdstone and lightningstone and the plans of the Beastman herd. After getting back to the barn, and happy to have not been violated or turned into sausage or both, in the woods our PC Otto tells the others what happened and they correctly figure out that some kind of power struggle is going on. So, we head to the herdstone where there's lots of whooping and hollering going on by Izka and the beastmen. The dwarf smuggler successfulyl sneaks up as far as he can and when some beastmen find the rest of the party he makes a mad dash for the herdstone, pulls off a one-in-a-million stunt to get to vault to the top of it and grab the lightning stone. A very spectacular showing that results in him grinning from ear to ear right before Izka guts him for massive amounts of damage and he falls to the ground, still holding the lightning stone. Big fight ensues, Foaldeath shows up to help the PCs, the dwarf gets struck by lightning 5-6 times (Yes, I had chaos stars showing up left and right, but after the first lightning strike he was KO'd and fell on top of the lightning stone and kept getting zapped), the beastmen overcame the party (all were KO'd and eventually sacrificed) and we're not sure what happened between Foaldeath and Izka yet.
TPK (Oh, I didn't mention that I had a dream the night before about running a D&D game and having a TPK did I? For real, I did, but the actual TPK was not engineered or anything.) was the result of the single combat in the session (It was almost all RP and investigation) and the Holtz's seem like they got off the hook, for now. I'll have to work up a way for our High Elf Bounty Hunter and Hidro to learn that his brother Otto, and the rest of the party, were killed since they were not there for the mission. Our party makeup has now changed to include a Human Rat Catcher (the old Otto Matik - Burgher), a Human Grave Robber (the old HE Soldier), a Human Barber-Surgeon (the old Dwarf Smuggler) and an Elf Swordmaster (the old Human Bright Wizard) and we've switched from Brash Young Fools to Intepid Explorers.
More to come with our next adventure.
Nice, thanks for the update. My friends and i just started playing TGS today, and they took a really straight forward way of handling things. Needless to say they didn´t do much investigating before figuring out the farm-part heh. It´s all good and fun, i just hope they don´t miss a lot since doing things this way may lead them into not founding out other stuff (people, places etc.). Anyway, keep these reports coming. At least i find this comparing aspect really helpful as i´m just started to learn game mastering and i´m still kinda sucky at it :)
Don´t mistake the lack of genius for a talent
So, after a break to play some D&D and GM some Deathwatch we're back to WFRP for several sessions. The next one will be on the 12th and we're continuing with the Gathering Storm series. I'll post here as soon as we're done with the session.
We played A Time to Mourn (chapter 3 of The Gathering Storm) last night and had a great time. The party consisted of six PCs (Human-Scout/Rat Catcher, Human-Coachman, High Elf-Swordmaster, Human-Roadwarden, Dwarf-Trollslayer, Human-Grave Robber) and I think it’s the largest party we’ve had so far. We would have had one more if our High Elf-Bounty Hunter wasn’t called away at the last minute.
We started off with a re-cap of the last adventure and integrated the new party members into the group after the TPK that took place of all that were present last time around.
Quick recap and prep below…
Last session was a TPK except that Duffy and Lance’s characters were not present. I’m not saying that’s what kept them alive but it sure didn’t hurt. Judy, Brian, Stewart and Andy met an awful end at the hands of a powerful group of beastmen that were being appeased (not totally successfully, though) by a pair of Deliverance-esque families in the hills outside of Stromdorf.
Brian’s character was Duffy’s character’s brother and Brian’s new character is Duffy’s character’s cousin. Sheesh, might need ancestry.com to keep this all straight. Anyway, Gnu (Brian’s new character) brought news of Otto’s death to Hidro. Gnu had been adventuring with some new mates (easy enough entry for other new party members and everyone headed back to Ubersriek for Otto’s funeral. Gnu and his mates are the ones that found the carnage after the fight in the storm with the beastmen, killed the rest of them, picked up a rather strange rock (more on that in a bit, but some of you should remember it) and reported the goings on to the city guard. Stewart’s dwarf was interred in a cave and it was thought that dying bravely in combat erased his name from his clan’s book of grudges. Judy’s elf soldier was brought back for burial with Otto, since she had left her elf-kin’s fighting company, and Andy’s mage’s body was retrieved by members of the Colleges of Magic from Altdorf.
Hidro is grieving the loss of his brother but realizes that there’s still work to be done in Stromdorf so the stay in Ubersriek is short. You do meet up with Lord Ashafemberger (from our very first game) and he puts you up in his manor for a few days. Alto (Lance’s elf) is very skittish in certain parts of the house but that’s mostly because of the bad painting he looked at. Not a single daemon or cultist to be found at the manor this time around.
Back in Stromdorf you are spending time at The Red Bull (see previous game updates or memory banks for its significance) and are pretty well rounded out as a new adventuring party, but still maintain the Mattik’s (Hidro and Gnu now that Otto got himself perished) small brewing business and do side work for Guido and Benito. A couple of things of consequence happen…
- Several adults from the Hotlz clan are brought into town in chains by the city guard. Marie (mama of the clan), Imelda (Marie’s daughter) and Reiner (porch-sitting mandolin-playing dullard) are all missing, though. Otto (patriarch) and the rest of the surviving family men are brought to the gaol and are awaiting trial (mostly ceremonial) and execution (very ceremonial and quite a town spectacle). Also, the Stewpot Tavern’s proprietress, Keila Cobblepot, the plump and cheerful Halfling has been brought up on charges of conspiring with beasts of chaos and being an accomplice to kidnapping and murder. She was helping the Holtz clan get victims to sacrifice to the beastmen. The Holtz’, being somewhat simple, believed the interrogators that told them they’d go easy on them if they spilled the beans about who they were in league with and Keila was named. She is actually quite guilty of helping them but, of course, there’s no “going easy” when it comes to actual Empire justice so they are all quite screwed. It has not come to light, though, about the power struggle within the beastmen camp and that Marie and Otto (not Brian’s Otto) are/were parents to Foaldeath, a beastman that was trying to wrest control of the group from Izka Madtooth.
- A fairly recent, been there a bit longer than you guys (the original group) though, addition to Stromdorf is a human named Niklas Schulmann. He’s a rather flamboyant dresser and wizard from the Colleges of Magic in Altdorf who’s been sent here to study the strange meteorological goings on in the area. The sudden, violent, and a bit strange lightning storms come to mind and that’s part of what he says he’s investigating. You’ve seen him around town a few times and while the locals were wary of him at first he has won them over by helping illiterate townsfolk draft letters and read documents. He’s taken up residence in an old townhouse and has made many modifications to it with copper tubes and the like sticking out of windows, weather vanes on the roof, etc. You’ve heard that he’s looking for pieces of rock with special properties and he’s asked if he can buy you dinner and discuss just such a rock that he’s heard has come into your possession. That’s where we’ll get started on the 12th, at dinner with Nicklas.
After dinner, Schulman who properly introduced himself and asked about the lightning stones and also told them about the mission he’s on from the Colleges of Magic. The party loaned him the stone that was brought back from the farm and he told them about dreams that he’s been having and even saw some of what took place with the beastmen before it happened and only wished that he’d known them ahead of it taking place so he could warn them.
The Mattik’s retired to their brewery and the rest had rooms at The Red Bull so all headed off to sleep. The zombies attacked at The Red Bull and initially just the Troll Slayer and Roadwarden were awoken by the ruckus with the Elf sleeping away. He’d say “meditating” but the dwarf says that he can’t hold his ale and was snoring like a baby full of warm milk. The Dwarf came charging out of his second story room carrying, and wearing, nothing at all. Apparently he sleeps in the nude and this was almost as shocking of a sight as the zombies crashing into the inn. The Roadwarden was right behind him, quite shocked at the double full moon ahead of him that was framed in bristling hair, came out of his room in his nightshirt (thankfully) carrying his crossbow but with just one bolt. Combat ensued with the single crossbow bolt finding its way into a zombie and drawing some of them upstairs. The dwarf headed back to his room and emerged with his flail but still no clothes and waded into the fight. A bit later the elf was roused and he squeezed past the fight at the top of the stairs and made quite an acrobatic move jumping over the railing, onto a table below, and cleaving a zombie in half all in one excellent cinematic series of moves. The undead were beaten down and the dwarf finally put on some pants.
Over at the Mattik brewery Hidro and Gnu were woken up by the watch that were tending to a few other zombies that had come into town. They wandered the streets a bit and came across Professor Kopfchen and his animated skeleton. They made quick work of it and were rewarded with some nice herbal tea. Kessler told the Mattik’s to come see him in the morning.
After breakfast Hidro and Gnu, along with our human grave robber, made their way to town hall and were introduced to Addler who had been shut away for months now. They were told the story of his nightmare after seeing Schulman in the hallway, who was on his way out. Hidro negotiates a deal with Addler to go fetch brother Grabbe from the Garden of Morr so he can interpret his dream and also verify that all is well in the cemetery.
The rains increased as the party made their way to the Garden and about halfway there they noticed, quite easily, that they were being followed by something or someone. The Scout’s dog was loosed into the thicket and screams of “call him off!” could be heard. This is where they met Waltrout and major comedy ensued! I played up Waltrout like Simple Jack from Tropic Thunder, but even amped up a bit more. Holy cow was it fun and I’d like to thank the Academy for the award for this performance! I can’t properly describe everything in the written form but it was awesome amounts of fun.
So, after some introductions and getting Waltrout to help them out we head off towards the Tranig. Lots of bell ringing ensued but no Brother Grabbe comes to row the boat to the other side to pick up the party. Waltrout quickly says that he can’t swim so it’s up to one of our brash young fools to get in the muddy water. The best candidate for this was our elf swordmaster and after stripping down to a dainty silken robe under his armor Waltrout gasped, “I thought you were a girl!” Apparently the high elf’s delicate features and milky white skin led our simpleton to think that he was in the company of an elf maiden. The swim across the Tranig ended up with our elf dipping a toe into the muddy water and then slowly attempting to cross. After being nipped by an eel he made like an Olympic champion and made it across in very short order. Not long after that everyone was over on the other side of the river.
Waltrout stuck with the party through the Liche gate, tunnel, temple and embalming rooms to have everyone emerge into the Garden proper where they headed off to Olaus’ tomb and found it broken into and empty. This is when the zombie hordes appears and the party saw Waltrout running and screaming towards the Ossuary. They followed and fought the hordes where they could but really not thinning them out much at all. We got to the ossuary just as Waltrout was trying to shut the door to keep himself safe but the party managed to squeeze in, into the total darkness. Harried lighting of torches came next while zombies were pounding of the door that they were attempting to bar and then they noticed bones from all over the ossuary knitting themselves together into full skeletons that attacked the party. Waltrout let out a scream and hid in a corner for a bit before he snuck downstairs during the smashing of bones in the flickering torchlight.
They eventually made their way downstairs to find Mourn and the raised Olaus. The fight led to the troll slayer going down but with some very good dice rolls they put down the massive skeleton AND Mourn in quite short order. Unfortunately, Brother Grabbe and Waltrout were both killed in the melee but they also were able to find the other lightning stone that was in the cemetery. With all of the dead no longer under Mourn’s control the graveyard grounds were filled with hundreds of corpses in various states of decay needing re-burial but no Priest of Morr to re-inter them properly.
The return to Addler brought good and bad news. Good in that Mourn was dealt with and Schulman was over the moon about another stone being found. Bad in that we have a cemetery full of corpses that need tending to and no Priest of Morr in Stromdorf or in the party. It was a great session with lots of good roleplaying and hilarity.
We recently played through our next session of The Gathering Storm and below you’ll find an accounting of the game. In attendance was our Human Scout (former Rat Catcher) with his trusty hound, our High Elf Bounty Hunter (who had been slightly crazed for some time, but seems to have stabilized a bit ), a new-ish member of the party in a Human Barber-Surgeon and our Human (female) Grave Robber. Our Dwarf Trollslayer, High Elf Swordmaster, Human Roadwarden and Human Coachman could not make it to the game.
We had a quick re-cap of the previous session and had a dinner meeting with Schuleman where he brought up the lightning stones and he paid a rather exorbitant fee to pick it up from them in addition to paying for a rather nice and large dinner. Schuleman’s behavior has become increasingly erratic as time has gone on and he’s acquired more of the lightning stones, which further his research for the colleges of magic back in Altdorf. Kessler, who now has a decent relationship with the party, came in towards the end of dinner and requested that they meet him at the town hall in the morning. With morning came a trip to town hall and a meeting with Adler who has been in much better sprits since Mourn was dealt with. Re-burying the dead is ongoing at the Garden of Morr and the city is still a bit on edge, but is slowly returning to the dreary, windswept and water-soaked paradise that it is.
The morning meeting with Adler went well and they met farmer Ackerland and discuss the problems going on at the farms outside of town and how they can help. Our Barber-Surgeon asks several questions and they do get a bit of extra information before heading out. A long, wet, muddy wagon rider later they get to the Ackerland farm and discuss watch details over a hearty dinner. The plan for the night’s watch is to have the farmhands patrol the general perimeter of the farm and our party of four will hide in the tall grass around the main gate to the cow pasture. The party spread out a bit and tried to keep an eye on each other but as the night dragged on it became harder to see each other well and they dared not call out for fear of altering whatever might be menacing the farms. Late into the typically rainy the goblins attacked and unbeknownst to the party only the Barber-Surgeon was completely unaffected by the slackfungus that was tossed around them. He witnessed several small, robed creatures (night goblins) enter the pasture and (with some difficulty) start leading two large heifers towards the gate. In trying to signal his mates he discovered that they were asleep and was able to rouse the Grave Robber and they carefully made their way over to the other two before jumping out and startling the invaders. As soon as the attack was on the cows were spooked and one went tearing off into the pasture as its goblin handlers let go of the rope they were holding. One of the goblins pulling the other cow was so startled that he did not let go of the rope and under the moonlight the party members themselves were a bit startled to see a cow pulling a screaming goblin through the pasture. The six goblin poachers were dealt with by the party, but the farmhands were nowhere to be seen. A quick decision had to either try to track where the goblins came from before the rain washes all trace away or to go looking for the farmhands. After looking over the goblin bodies and the Barber-Surgeon found extra pouches of slackfungus a tracking they went with our scout and his trusty hound leading the way.
After a few hours we made our way to the farm that was taken over by goblins and they saw the grand procession of Gobspite (including him getting bonked on the head to which he reacted by frying a nearby goblin who really had nothing to do with the incident but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time). The grounds were crawling with goblins and the party soon realized that they’d be better off making a stealthy approach in the morning when most of the greenskins would be asleep. They quickly hid and were able to avoid the patrols and make it to morning safely.
With the morning sun came a recon of the area around the farmhouse and barn and they were able to sneak up to the guardhouse and threw in the slackfungus they got the night before. It had no effect on them but it was still a good idea to try something less noisy first. The one guard that was awake and the other that were made quick work of without making too much noise at all and they were able to stay out of sight in the guardhouse. The scout and his dog quickly, and quietly, ran up to the guard tower and while the dog could not get up the ladder but the two sleeping goblins up there were promptly dispatched. The scout took up a sniper position in the guard tower while the Grave Robber and Bounty Hunter ran up to the farmhouse while the Barber-Surgeon kept low in the guardhouse that they assaulted first. Most of the downstairs of the house was searched by the Grave Robber and Bounty Hunter and the ornate sword that was above the mantle was found and taken by the former of the pair. A need to cleanse the area of the greenskin’s influence began to come over the Grave Robber and she felt an increasing need to extract a pound of flesh, at least. Before doing more than a cursory search of the kitchen the Barber-Surgeon ran over to the farmhouse without making too much of a ruckus with the Scout covering his advance from the guardtower.
The kitchen was a disaster with refuse strewn everywhere and looking into the pantry a huge pile of smelly trash began to move as the troll sleeping there began to wake up. Quickly assessing that fighting a troll in a small area was probably a bad idea the barber-Surgeon sought to try to calm the still groggy beast and even got it to start to lay down again but then the Grave Robber’s newly found bravado and bloodlust got the better of her and she pressed forth an attack. If the cabinets and crockery weren’t already smashed to pieces by the goblins as they took over the farm it would have been by the end of the fight with the troll. The Grave Robber and Bounty Hunter did really, really well fighting the troll and put it down before making enough racket to raise the dead.
All four members of the party gathered in the dining/living room downstairs and headed upstairs. There they found several goblin guards (outside of Gobspite’s room) and, with some excellent roleplaying from our Barber-Surgeon, were able to bluff them into heading downstairs instead of immediately starting a fight. Yelling and screaming could be heard from Gobspite’s room and they figured that there was probably no bargaining to be done with the leader of the band of greenskins the door was smashed open and the fight was on. It was actually quite a short fight before Gobspite fell. This was partly due to them thinning out his guards and also to some rather good rolling on the part of all of the party members. They took the piece of lightning stone from around his head but didn’t notice that his palanquin was actually a larger piece, too. Some more goblin guards were dispatched but with the troll and Gobspite dead they felt good that the rest would dissipate into the hills so they returned to the Ackland farm and then back to report to Adler.
Their return to Adler was met with gratitude and payment. A local militia patrol was dispatched to the farm to deal with any goblin stragglers burn the place to the ground. Schuleman was pleased at the small portion of lightning stone that was found at first but then flew into a rage when he heard of the palanquin and realized that it too was part of what he was looking for. Adler met with the party again and let them know about the patrol finding a little girl that was hiding in a well at the farm. There was definitely some embarrassment on the party’s end but they went to the farm to investigate and end the raids, not to do a detailed search of the grounds so they didn’t catch too much flack for missing her. All were glad that the patrol found her and she was safe now. The party headed back to the farm to sift through the ashes and found the large lightning stone which they provided to Schuleman.
Schuleman’s behavior became even more erratic, bordering on fanatical, upon receiving this new piece with which to further his studies. Misgivings about his intentions are really starting to come up now as we move towards the next session.
Thanks for reading.
Last session of TGS happening tonight. Write-up to follow soon thereafter.
We played through the last portion of The Gathering Storm last night and here’s how it went. For those that know how the story goes you’ll see some places where things went off the written page a bit.
After about a week of being back in town and things settling down we open with the party (Human Thief, Human Watchman, Human Roadwarden, Human Physician and High Elf Swordmaster) having breakfast at The Red Bull. In walks Schuleman, soaked to the bone like he’s been walking the streets without any protection from the elements, because that’s what he has been doing. He apologizes for his manic behavior when the party last saw him and tries to explain that he’s hit a roadblock in his studies of the lightning stones and asks if they’ve come upon any more of them. When they tell him that they’ve not he drops his head into his hands and says that this failure will be the end of him at the Colleges of Magic and he pays for their breakfast and leaves back out into the rain.
The group gets on with their day after breakfast and splits into three smaller groups for a bit. The Physician and Roadwarden headed over to talk to Schuleman to see if they could gather some more info about the lightning stones and his work. His house was a mess with notes and research books everywhere. Schuleman was still soaked to the bone as if he’d still not noticed that he was wandering around town with nothing to protect him. In an effort to get him into some warm clothes to not catch cold and also to do some snooping around the Physician suggested that Schuleman go get changed and get cleaned up a bit. That worked out just fine and Schuleman accepted the player’s suggestion that they be able to make a plaster casting of the stones that he did have and also make a rubbing of it. They did get a bit too snoopy and Schuleman snatched some of his notes out of their hands and they didn’t really get too much further info from him.
Our Thief went to talk to Dr. Fraudde (one of my own residents of the town that works in experimental cures and helped get rid of some insanities of our High Elf Bounty Hunter (not present today) via high voltage electricity. He didn’t know much about the stones at all but they struck up good conversations about her robbing graves for “parts” and him being able to make use of them.
The Watchman and Swordmaster made their way over to the Thunderwater Inn (which has become increasingly negative about having The Red Bull as competition in town) to see what they could find. The owner, Sebastian Brenner, knows them just from them being in town and wasn’t exactly hostile towards them but also greeted them as “the boys that work for the Tileans”. A bit of conversation ensued and they noticed a group of northmen in a corner table. Four were your typical Conan types (Marauders) and there were also two other cloaked men there. Out two adventurers barely saw Brenner make eye contact with the outsiders who then confronted them. They tried to start a fight and one of the cloaked figures (a cult leader) fried the Watchman with Flickering Fire of Tzeentch (he picked up a corruption) and a fight was starting but it turned into a chase over the bar and through the kitchen before heading down alleys. The Thief witnessed the start of the chase in the alley right behind the Inn but she stayed in the shadows while the Watchman and Swordmaster ducked into Professor Kopchen’s place before she headed over to Schuleman’s house. They talked for a bit with Kopchen as the marauders and cloaked figures ran by on what looked like a route to Schuleman’s.
All of these mini investigations saw very good role-playing on all of the player’s parts. Good work on their part!
The marauders busted into Schuleman’s house and the fight was on, for real, this time but the guys from the bar had not shown up yet. our Physician tried to talk to the cult leader and keep them from killing Shuleman (saying that he was tending to his health) to which the cult leader responded, “Fine, kill everyone else!” The marauders were fighting it out with the Thief and the last cloaked figure threw off his robes to reveal himself as a hideous mutant with a giant beak, sopophoric musk and mark of tzeench. It went after the Roadwarden who was so scared that he tried to break a window and jump out of it but only managed to cut himself up. Our remaining two party members got there and it was a very good fight with spells and swordplay going on inside the house and the Watchman firing with his new (but of poor quality) pistol from the street. Lots of fun here! After the fight the town guard showed up and a bit of explaining was done before everyone retired for the night.
The next morning over breakfast three Imperial Agents (one wizard and two bounty hunter types) came into The Red Bull and started asking lots of questions about Schuleman. Apparently, they had already checked his house and he was not there and the party didn’t give up any information about him, the lightning stones or anything else. These new intruders took rooms at The Red Bull. Not much later Professor Kopchen got the Watchman’s attention from the street and they got info about Schuleman leaving town early this morning. It was via the South gate and he was on a slightly packed cart drawn by a single horse. The party figured that he was headed for the ruins that they passed on their way to the farms in the last adventure and headed that way too.
They got there in time to see another band of chaos baddies confront and beat down Schuleman (very dead) but they also could see what appeared to be a completed version of all of the stones over on an alter in the ruins. The party was riding in their own cart and spurred the horses up to a full gallop as they rode into battle. Opposing them was a Chaos Sorcerer of Tzeench, two Chaos Warriors and four Marauders. As the party barreled into the fight the Swordmaster and Thief took out the sorcerer very quickly and the Watchman blasted the marauders with his blunderbuss, nearly killing all four of them. The chaos warriors became enraged and started kicking butt. They were tougher than everyone (including me) expected! They killed the High Elf Swordmaster even as the Physician tried to patch him up while the fight was going on. The Watchman and Roadwarden were still riding around in the wagon and the, very hurt, marauders jumped in to fight in the wagon as it was rolling through the ruins. It was a difficult decision, at least that’s what he’s saying, but the Watchman shot again with his blunderbuss at the combat taking place in the wagon and the Roadwarden was caught in the blast. It did kill all four of the marauders, though. In the end the Thief was also knocked out and ended up being left for dead when the remaining party members figured they could not take out the two chaos warriors. One was actually near death but the other was not hurt too badly and they didn’t like their chances.
In the end Schuleman was not a bad guy (I changed that part of the adventure because it seemed a bit too typical that the guys you’re sort of working for ends up being the baddie in the end) but ended up dead. A band of chaos guys took the lightning stones and two of our party ended up dead. The first ¾ of the night was great with a really fun fight and excellent role-playing. The last part was a deadly fight where they could have gotten extra help from the Imperial agents but the party’s (proper, since anyone could really end up screwing you over) suspicion of pretty much everything and everyone kept them out of the final fight. Still, I think a fun night.
My impression of The Gathering Storm is that it was a fun series of linked adventures. My players did some great role-playing over the course of all four sessions, we had some excellent (and fondly remembered) combats and had lots of fun.
Thanks for reading.
After a semi-ling hiatus of playing other games and schedules just not working out we are back to WFRP for a while. New reports to follow soon. We're scheudled to play on DEC 13.
See ya soon thereafter with a report.
"semi-long" that is :)
Mark Theurer said:
After a semi-ling hiatus of playing other games and schedules just not working out we are back to WFRP for a while. New reports to follow soon. We're scheudled to play on DEC 13.
See ya soon thereafter with a report.
Thanks for posting those sessions reports! I am a new GM to WFRP3 with new players to roleplaying games, and the reports are very useful to help me visualize how to describe what happens.
We are currently playing Eye for an Eye, and I was considering purchasing The Gathering Storm. You said it took your players about 4 sessions to finish the campaign. How long does one of your session run (in average)?
I am asking because me and my players only will meet a few times per year, so I am wondering whether a campaign may not work for us, and if I am better off running single scenarios. As a new GM though, I appreciate when scenarios are well described, helping me prepare for it... which I guess FFG provides in TGS.
Can TGS be broken up / played over a year with big gaps (a couple months) of play time in between?
We usually play from 4p-9p when we sit around the table. We rotate GMs so I've been "off" for a bit but am back "on" starting this weekend so I'm hoping to get several WFRP games going.
The 5 hours of each game is not ALL gaming, though. We eat, talk a bit, and play. Mostly play, but it's a get-together for us too. Also, as a GM I'm not afraid at all to adjust the story to get to good end points and/or cliffhangers. With The Gathering Storm we kept pretty much to the story as presented in the book but some things were left out and other changes (like the ending) were made.
Sorry, ref your last question, I feel that TGS can pretty easily be broken up even if you have large-ish gaps between sessions. Just have a pre-session reminder email go out to refresh everyone and you should be fine.
We played through Winds of Change last night and had a lot of fun. For the adventuring party we had our Human Coachman-Watchman, Human Roadwarden, Human Wizards Apprentice-Acolyte (Amethyst) and our Human Barber/Surgeon-Physician.
The party had previously been headquartered in Stromdorf, venturing off here and there, but always returning. They had recently made the acquaintance of an Amethyst wizard from Altdorf and he asked them to join him there as he had been summoned by his superiors. Once back in Altdorf they were told of a missing apprentice that had been sent down to Oggasse and the order was requesting (well, more than just requesting) the party’s assistance in finding him or news of what happened to him. Eager to impress the superiors of the order our Amethyst wizard quickly accepted and made their way into Oggasse and Schmutzplatz.
There they did a lot of investigating (and joking about being deep in the schmutz, little did they know how deep it would get) and questioning of the locals and got many pieces of information. They picked up a reward poster mentioning a Monster of Oggasse but many locals dismissed any talk of a monster as just the made-up stories of the local kids. Other, though, swore that they either saw the monster or knew someone that did. They saved Leo from local kids that were bullying him (Leo was renamed Lieutenant Dan for the rest of the night), talked to many people at the Dove, Magpie’s, the bird shoppe, the Tilean Chicken. Without any need for a small bird they ended up buying one from Hugbert but then were able to trade it to a gypsy for a “reading”. She had a vision (our Amethyst wizard was none too impressed) and told them that there was not just one person kidnapped, but many. Also, the one responsible was of short stature and was dressed in a manner not fitting them. They immediately thought of Magpie (being a Halfling and also being very well dressed and not fitting in with the rest of the dirty population) and thought of him as a prime suspect. They had also garnered quite a bit of information about Yuri who decided it was time to confront the party and try to scare them off. He and a bunch of goons found them as they were coming out of the gypsy’s and told them to beat it out of the area and do it quickly. Thinking quickly, the Physician questioned them about any ailments they might be suffering and trying to warn them about various sicknesses that they could encounter if they were not careful or ate bad food (little did they know they were very much on to the bad food that was going through the area). Breathing a sigh of relief that the encounter with Yuri didn’t end up with a fight in the street they took a minute to figure out what to do next and a scream rang out from the Dove of Love.
They raced to the soup kitchen and found the poor and homeless streaming out of the place with horrified looks on their faces. Inside they found Sister Lena praying over a filthy street-person that was convulsing on the floor and in the process of changing into a Feathered Fiend. Ethel was also seen running into the kitchen away from the commotion. The Roadwarden quickly put sword to the convulsing mutant which led to Sister Lena screaming in horror at the bloodshed while the Watchman chased after Ethyl. He noticed that she must have grabbed a basket of eggs on her way out because there was a trail of them down the alley, but eventually he lost her. He did find one or two odd eggs, broken that had shells with a very slight pink hue to them. Back at the Dove the Physician did a makeshift autopsy on the mutant and then its body was taken out into the street to be burned. They questioned Sister Lena and discovered that Ethel was not a member of their sisterhood but was just a volunteer who had been helping feed the poor people of the area. The Roadwarden had better luck tracking her and they found her tracks ending at the back door of the bird shoppe but that there were many more tracks leading away from it towards the sewers.
Into the sewers we went in search of, at least, Ethel and in hopes of finding the missing apprentice. If the stench in the streets was awful that in the sewers was unbearable. All manner of filth, refuse and waste was stepped over, in or floated by. The party pressed on further under the city but they were not alone. Three Coloured Fiends (Green, Red and Gold) had been stalking behind the party through the sewers had gone unnoticed since they had entered the tunnels filled with effluence. Then, the adventurers came across the makeshift temple to Tzeentch where they saw the member of the Broken Wheel (Hugbert, Leo, Ethel, Yuri and Julius) cult, Bobo, and the kidnapped apprentices stuck inside giant birdcages ready to be sacrificed. Still oblivious to the menacing mutant chicken-men that were creeping up behind them they made their plans to assault the cultists and rescue not just the one apprentice that they were searching for, but hopefully all of them. Surely, rescuing all of them would curry great favor with all of the senior members of the various orders of magic. But then the Roadwarden heard some splashing coming from behind them and turned to see the three Colored Fiends coming their way. The fight was on whether plans were ready or not!
The cultists were made aware of the presence of the adventurers with much squawking and splashing and readied themselves to deal with the interlopers, too. The Fiends let fly with spells right off the bat to try and cripple the party and let the cultists get back to their dark plans of sacrifice. The Amethyst wizard struck back with his own magic and the Watchman sent a loud shot from his blunderbuss down in their direction. The Physician took a shot with his crossbow, too, but missed. The cultists closed in with physical attacks and spells and then the party’s Roadwarden fought them off in hand-to-hand combat. A terrible fight ensued in the sewers under Aldorf where blood, sweat and magic mixed with all of the undesirable waste elements of a medieval city. Yuri confronted the Physician, but some fast talking kept the lumbering man from Kislev at bay for a while as the battle raged. More spells flew and shots rang out as the smell of gunpowder mixed with, well, you know the other smells that it mixed with and they weren’t pretty! The Fiends took a pounding and eventually started to retreat, but the Amethyst wizard was felled by their spells and he fell unconscious into the sewer water right before the last Fiend was shot down by the Watchman. All the while our Roadwarden was hacking away at cultists and killing them one at a time, except for Yuri who was at one moment swinging a great axe at the Physician and at another moment completely bewildered by the educated man’s enquiries about all things medical. A few very well placed shots resulted in Bobo exploding into a brilliant display of feathers, not unlike a fireworks display. This completely dishearten Hugbert who fell to his knees crying as he knew all of their plans were now dashed. He was put to the sword and Yuri was dealt with as the Amethyst wizard was kept from drowning in sewage and floating away.
After a short period to catch their breaths the caged apprentices were released, but they found that one had been killed by Hugbert during the fight. Everyone returned to the surface and waited for the local Watchman to arrive so they could collect their bounty for killing the Monster(s) of Oggasse and tell of what they discovered about the Broken Wheel cult. Our wizard found some kind of wand, but with none of the other party members having any insight into things magical they have no idea about its power or potential dangers.
It was a very fun game with lots of investigation and role-playing in the first half and a very desperate fight to finish the adventure. I think we’ll get out of town (and the sewers) for our next game in January.
That did sound like a fun game and (as always), it's your own game to do with as you like, but I find it a bit weird that the physician could divert an attacker by speaking. Perhaps stop a fight from starting by blathering away and confusing a potential attacker, but once a fight (to the death) has started, I don't find it very plausible that a character could distract a thug intent on killing him...
If my players come up with something good and fun that moves the story forward I'm likely to go with it. There are plenty of times when they hit dead-ends and are told "no" so I'm happy to be able to say "yes" to something creative.