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Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Sat May 01, 2021 5:28 am
by Robin
dry_erase wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:28 pm
Robin wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:07 pm
As some of you may be aware, Cubicle 7 have just released a scenario I've written for WFRP4 entitled Something Knocking. It's available as a PDF over on DriveThruRPG. I'm always happy to see reviews or general discussion of anything I've written, so please feel free to post here, even if it's just to clarify something.
It's very very good. The introduction of the undead in the first half is fantastically atmospheric and quite melancholy. The villain is a refreshing twist on WFRP archetypes and I like the way you've structured the plot - it's involved without being unecessarily complex.

It's also a nice change of pace from some of the other WFRP4 adventures, in that it has a very different feel to it. Great stuff - I bet it plays very well.
Blimey! Thank-you very much for that. I hope you get some use out of it. If you do use it, let us know - it's always interesting to see how these things play out with different groups, or what worked well and what didn't. Warpstone always used to get mostly positive feedback, which was always appreciated, but we rarely saw any reports of how things worked out in practice.

Regards,

Robin

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Sat May 01, 2021 8:04 am
by Robin
MadMarkus wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:36 am
But as I've said, I've mostly come to terms with the fact that WFRP adventures are written in a wordy conversational style, and I'm not holding it against them. I'm trying to find those that offer enough complexity beneath that, and those that aren't railroady.
I want to avoid quoting lots of text and arguing point by point (it gets a bit messy to read), so I hope you'll forgive me if I limit my reply.

I think most non-sandbox scenarios are going to have an element of a railroad about them, a beginning a middle and an end, or at least a general flow through to the mostly likely end point. I found it interesting that you feel positively about A Night of Blood (a scenario I'm very fond of too), as that also has a pretty clear pathway through it as well - if the PC/players are unwilling to engage with it then the story doesn't really happen. The situation at the ferry forces the PCs to the inn, after all. If, however, the PCs go through a lot of trouble to get across river, fair enough. You can use the same scenario at later date. Is that railroading?

Anyway, regardless of all that, it would be very interesting if you could run the scenario (with the bare minimum of changes) and see what happens in actual play. Are you currently in a position to give it a go, even if it was with a set of brand new PCs? It might be a worthwhile experiment.

But there's still good scenarios and bad ones. If I have to deconstruct a scenario completely and reassemble it in my own fashion just to be able to run it in a way that's not frustrating, then that's a badly designed scenario. See If Looks Could Kills, which has some great ideas and imagery but it's a blatant railroad with no player agency. And to "fix" this means to dissasemble and recreate the whole thing. At this point, I may as well create my own scenarios.
I'm going to be a bit contrary here and slightly disagree again. I don't think there are good scenarios and bad scenarios as such; I think there are interesting scenarios and boring scenarios. I appreciate the frustration of having to fix a scenario, and ideally any alterations should be limited to changing NPC/monster stats to suit the PC group or shifting location to suit a home-grown campaign, that kind of thing. Being able to pick it up and run with it is preferable (we're all short on freetime). But if the core idea is genuinely interesting and workable, then I'd say with worth kicking it about until it's right for you and your group.

If you want something more sand-boxy, you might want to take a look at the Starter set.
Oh no, the adventure there is a horrible railroad. :lol: Not for me!
I wasn't thinking so much about the scenarios, rather all the setting details, a large location to play with. That said, it is a Starter set, and a scenario with a clear pathway is good idea for new GMs and players.
As some of you may be aware, Cubicle 7 have just released a scenario I've written for WFRP4 entitled Something Knocking.
Thanks for the tip! I'll certainly take a look.
My pleasure. If you do buy it, please post your thoughts, whatever they are. Well, okay, constructive thoughts, whatever they are!

Regards,
Robin

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 2:08 am
by johnfinnswife
Robin wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 8:04 am
My pleasure. If you do buy it, please post your thoughts, whatever they are. Well, okay, constructive thoughts, whatever they are!

Regards,
Robin
Hello,

Not the person you were responding to but I bought it & though I've only skimmed it I'm quite impressed—what the current iteration of WFRP lacks (& indeed, what all of WFRP lacks) are these nice kind of "We could do this all in one night but could also come back to it piecemeal" sort of scenarios.

I run a 1e world using homebrewed 2e rules but this was worth the purchase just to salt the course of the Reik with! Wish it had come out about 2 months earlier, FWIW!

But well done, it's a nice change of pace (though my lot have just finished talking with Brunnhilde in the Barren Hills so might be shrugging at the prospect of more unquiet dead... Though that does make me think I should link it back with Klara maybe saying "Well, we met this nice lady just the other day & she said you were most helpful, now, be a darling & lay me to rest as well, there's a good bunch of chaps & chapesses...") & like I said the open-ended structure leading to a scenario is a nice addition which for once seems to take advantage of the structure of the main campaign.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 5:23 am
by RancidWalrus
I spent a couple of hours the other night trying to say basically what Robin has said, only they said it much better than I! I'd even go further and argue that I don't think the term 'railroad' really has that much value when discussing adventure modules; and also that every scenario ever written needs to be tweaked and altered by the GM to fit both their own style and their group of players/characters. But I digress!

The best campaign I have run in the last couple of years was primarily based on the starter set adventure and Ubersreik source book. If you can get your players to really despise Klumpfenklug he will easily be one of your favourite NPC's every session!

I really would encourage the OP to give it another look.

My group also quite enjoyed If Looks Could Kill, for what it's worth to anyone else!

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 10:09 am
by Robin
johnfinnswife wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 2:08 am
Not the person you were responding to but I bought it & though I've only skimmed it I'm quite impressed—what the current iteration of WFRP lacks (& indeed, what all of WFRP lacks) are these nice kind of "We could do this all in one night but could also come back to it piecemeal" sort of scenarios.
Again, my thanks. It's definitely a scenario that benefits from setting up various elements in advance. It works as discrete piece you can just plonk in the players' laps, but you could certainly draw out the intro. You could also change things and say, "Right, now you know what to do and where to go, but you can't do it until the moon is full and that's a couple of weeks away," or you could say, " It's a big river and finding the right place to go to may take some more digging, because the river folk's memories are oddly blurred." Then you can squeeze in some other adventure.
I run a 1e world using homebrewed 2e rules but this was worth the purchase just to salt the course of the Reik with! Wish it had come out about 2 months earlier, FWIW!
It's definitely intended to work as another thing to do while messing about with boats in Death on the Reik. However, if someone wanted to do some work I think it could be hacked into an urban adventure (the island becomes a forgotten street in Altdorf, the PCs' boat becomes their room in their boarding house, the knocking a tapping on the window) or shunt it to the mountains (a ruined castle, the PCs' wagon)
But well done, it's a nice change of pace (though my lot have just finished talking with Brunnhilde in the Barren Hills so might be shrugging at the prospect of more unquiet dead... Though that does make me think I should link it back with Klara maybe saying "Well, we met this nice lady just the other day & she said you were most helpful, now, be a darling & lay me to rest as well, there's a good bunch of chaps & chapesses...") & like I said the open-ended structure leading to a scenario is a nice addition which for once seems to take advantage of the structure of the main campaign.
That's just the way to do. Build up connections within your campaign. Tie things back to what's happened before, hint at what's ahead. It helps create the sense of the world that exists in it's own right, that there are things going on in it beyond what the characters see and do. Arguably, it's this that makes a campaign a campaign, not just an over-arching plot.

If you or your players build on these connections, it could change the nature of your campaign when the PCs start to become more knowledgeable, the local experts. Others start to come to them for advice, whether it's peasants experiencing a haunting of their own or more sinister individuals wondering what other knowledge the PCs might have uncovered in the course of their travels. And while I would suggest making some significant revisions to Something Rotten in Kislev, there's a built in connection to that campaign...

Regards,

Robin

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Mon May 03, 2021 6:36 am
by Jadrax
Grey Mountain Gold

So, I grabbed an adventure pretty much at random, and go 'Grey Mountain Gold'. A PDF that costs £5 (which strikes my Yorkshire heart as somewhat pricey) but is also available as part of Ubersreik Adventures vol II. Its 17-pages long, including adverts.

Given the reviews MadMarkus wrote, I did not go into this with high hopes.

The premise is pretty simple, it is basically a long con that has become overcomplicated due to Dwarvern politics. But that said, the concept is pretty well fleshed out, the NPCs are pretty interesting – and crucially there are several places where the PCs can actually do things that effect the outcome, rather than just being spectators.

What I liked: It's reasonable open I the writer anticipates that the PCs might not want to participate in various places and tries to at least consider what might happen if the PCs go off script. Also, while there is the opportunity for combat, you could easily go through this without a single serious fight. Also, there's a section involving going shopping I found particularly entertaining.

What I disliked: I think it ultimately does suffer from the fact that the PCs lack a real stake in the proceedings - although, I think that could be pretty easily fixed (Especially if you have a dwarf PC). It also ends on a bit of an anti-climax, but again you could probably fix that
Also, one of the NPCs has a quarter-of-a-page-long speech your supposed to deliver, which is ridiculously long.

Other notes: This does not really seem to lean into the 4th Edition rules to much, so you should easily be able to run it in any edition of WFRP. There is a pursuit section that may take a bit of conversion work.

All in all I found this pretty charming and intend to run it: Four Stars and the only thing stopping getting 5 Stars is the price.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Mon May 03, 2021 9:13 am
by Robin
Jadrax wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 6:36 am
Grey Mountain Gold

So, I grabbed an adventure pretty much at random, and go 'Grey Mountain Gold'. A PDF that costs £5 (which strikes my Yorkshire heart as somewhat pricey) but is also available as part of Ubersreik Adventures vol II. Its 17-pages long, including adverts.

<snipped positive review>

All in all I found this pretty charming and intend to run it: Four Stars and the only thing stopping getting 5 Stars is the price.
Just a minor point of order: It's not actually £5 it's $5 (or $4.99 to be precise), currently working out at £3.61.I don't know if that's enough get it the extra star, but either way its good to read another review, thanks.

Regards,

Robin

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Thu May 06, 2021 3:21 am
by adambeyoncelowe
Even £5 isn't that expensive for an adventure these days. In fact, I think it's positively cheap. (I'm also from Yorkshire.)

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Tue May 11, 2021 7:57 am
by FasterThanJesus
adambeyoncelowe wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 3:21 am
Even £5 isn't that expensive for an adventure these days. In fact, I think it's positively cheap. (I'm also from Yorkshire.)
Eee by'eck it's grand, lad!

At the cost of a pint, I think it's totally fair. Whether it's any good or not is a different issue.

/lancashire

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Mon May 17, 2021 11:25 am
by makrellen
So I went looking for a few one-shots to use while my players are traveling the empire. I looked up "One-shots of Reikland" and while some of the adventures are so-so I found "Lock-in" to be very inspiring. I have fleshed it out a bit and given it a "Rough nights" feel. Really looking forward to running it!

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Sat May 29, 2021 6:03 am
by Visitor Q
During COVID related lockdown in the UK I agreed to run WFRP for people who had never played an rpg before.
I rarely use published adventures but for time constraints I decided to run if Looks Could Kill more or less as written with little modfication.

I have to say having played it I completly disagree with the OP. It was a blast and kept the players guessing as to what was going on.

There was also a lot of debate between the players as to what to do with the ultimate culprit which in a subsequent session/adventure led to one of the funniest sessions I have ever played.

My biggest problem is probably that it doesn't have much of an introduction as to why the PCs are there in the first place.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Mon May 31, 2021 1:45 am
by MadMarkus
Visitor Q: Glad to hear you've enjoyed it. To be honest, my low opinion of If Looks Could Kill is mostly based on how overwritten and hard to follow it is. It could be a fine scenario if someone deleted half the text and reorganised the rest. I generally dislike linear scenarios, so I would have to dismantle this one to let my players play on their own initiative... but the text seems very unfit for this purpose. I just can't imagine how you can use it in any other way than simply going one paragraph after another, exactly in the order they are written. Anything else and you get lost immediately. As I've mentioned, I'm mainly an OSR player and the recent WFRP 4e adventures generally feel like overwritten railroads to me.

Thad said, I've been reading these scenarios to select some for my upcoming WFRP campaign. I might try running If Looks Could Kill anyway just to see if my intuition is right.

Here's some I actually like:

====

***** NIGHT OF BLOOD

This very short, 7 page scenario is a great one-shot experience and I can't really think of any negatives. The basic premise is that the characters are caught outside in the woods in the middle of a stormy night, and they seek shelter in an inn in the middle of nowhere. A classic horror setup. There's something weird going on in the inn but they can't really put their finger on it at first.

The adventure is structured as a map of the inn which the players can explore on their own and gather clues. These are cleverly scattered around to build tension and anxiety. The core of the adventure is in roleplaying with several NPCs (and great ones, too!), which are - again - a bit disturbing. It takes a while to really find out what's going on - but then, the situation really explodes. The underlying structure reminds me of A Rough Night at Three Feathers, in that there's an underlying "script" of what would happen if the players didn't disturb the process. But of course they'll disturb it.

I love the open-ended structure of this. The players face many interesting decisions an always have a free initiative to act. I've played this twice with two different groups, and I already want to play it for the third time, this time trying a slightly different approach in how I'd play the NPCs... just to see what difference it would make. This is high praise.

7 pages, free to download, the best WFRP 4e adventure (although a reprint) I've ready so far.

====

**** THE AFFAIR OF THE HIDDEN JEWEL (included in Enemy in Shadows Companion)

This was a very pleasant surprise!

This is a slightly comedic "melodramatic" adventure. It's a bit over the top, with mustache-twirling villains and maniacal pyromaniacs. It even advises you to enjoy all the clichés.

The first part is situated in inn. The players arrive to meet the innkeeper who's searching for a gem that's been stolen by cunning bandits. The second part of the adventure happens in a tiny, decrepit chateau in the middle of the woods. In between, there's a lot of negotiations, suspicions, bomb dodging, horseback chases and other tropes. The NPCs are fun an interesting, borderline parody. The whole thing reminds me of Robin Hood with Kevin Costner (although the adventure is older than the film).

Structurally, these are two locations (an inn and a chateau) with detailed maps. There are some NPCs placed in them, each with their own goals and motivations. There's a modest timeline of events in the beginning but the second part is completely unscripted. The chateau is actually just a map, a list of its inhabitants, and that's it – the rest is up to you and your players. Despite that, there's a promise of a great story based on interesting NPCs. I have to admire this old-school brevity (the original from 1988 only had 8 pages, the new reprint is just a little longer) and how the adventure trusts the GM to be able to handle this without a precise script.

All in all: a funny, over-the-top, mostly social adventure with almost no supernatural elements. Pure unpretentious fun.

====

*** IT'S YOUR FUNERAL

This is the newest Graeme Davis scenario that uses the Rough Night at Three Feathers Structure. This time, there's a funeral, a dozen of NPCs or so, and seven plotlines. You get the description of the NPCs and the goals, you get the assumed timeline, and then you let your players ruin it all. Have fun!

I love the location here - this takes place in Morr's gardens, and really brings this aspect of Warhammer lore to life (heh). Basically, it shows you how funerals and the clergy of the god of death work in Warhammer - not by telling you, but showing you, and immersing you in a story. It's basically impossible for the players not to be dragged into the events.

This is a fun scenario, as the Three Feathers-based ones tend to be, even though this one has some rough edges:

(1) A large part of the action happens in crowd scenes with way too many important NPCs present, which may be a bit too much to handle for the GM. Brain overload. What's worse, the presence of the town watch and the castle guard might actually dissuade the players from doing anything. I've actually played this as a player, and many times I've felt the best course of action was just to watch, letting other people deal with stuff. It was fun but a bit too passive at times. There's surprisingly little small-scale action with only a handful of NPCs which the players could more easily join.

(2) It all takes place in a graveyard, which is a huge open space where people can see almost anything. It's very hard to think of secret actions to do. Combine this with the crowd scenes, and the whole thing actually feels less varied and more linear than it is – it can feel as if everything were happening at the same time, at the same place.

(3) Some of the plot lines don't actually make sense. The main plot is about changing coffins (a) in the middle of the funeral, (b) in an open chapel with no doors, which is (c) surrounded by a crowd of people. Why?! I just don't understand why the plotters wouldn't do this before the funeral. It's also pretty much impossible for them to succeed because they logically must be seen - and yet the timeline happily assumes the plot will just suceed. It's breaking my suspension of disbelief and I find it hard to run and justify at the table. (Fun fact: At one point, the timeline is literally broken because the plotters seems to be swapping a coffin that hasn't arrived yet.)

(4) Some of the plot lines feel rough and unfinished. Actually, the whole adventure feels rough and unfinished. I know it came from a brainstorming session at some come. But it seems that Greame just haphazardly put the thing together and released it as quickly as possible, without giving it much though. I'm pretty sure this hasn't been playtested at all.

Still, a fun scenario with some rough edges to fix.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:48 am
by Visitor Q
MadMarkus wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 1:45 am
Visitor Q: Glad to hear you've enjoyed it. To be honest, my low opinion of If Looks Could Kill is mostly based on how overwritten and hard to follow it is. It could be a fine scenario if someone deleted half the text and reorganised the rest. I generally dislike linear scenarios, so I would have to dismantle this one to let my players play on their own initiative... but the text seems very unfit for this purpose. I just can't imagine how you can use it in any other way than simply going one paragraph after another, exactly in the order they are written. Anything else and you get lost immediately. As I've mentioned, I'm mainly an OSR player and the recent WFRP 4e adventures generally feel like overwritten railroads to me.

Thad said, I've been reading these scenarios to select some for my upcoming WFRP campaign. I might try running If Looks Could Kill anyway just to see if my intuition is right.
I re-read it just now. From a GM reading it pov the introduction is a bit of a slog (although playing it was fine). And as I remembered, yeah the players knowing why they are there is a big issue. Essentially it only really makes sense if the players have 0 money (which is fine for wfrp btw) as they are essentially glorified labourers.

From mid way it is fine though, both in writing and execution.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:47 am
by Wolf
My thought was that there was a strong chance that players would begin to wonder why there was a mill being built in the middle of an out of the way swamp. It seems a ridiculous place to put it: it doesn’t appear to be conveniently located and, since the ground is swampy won’t offer a suitable strong current or possibility of a raised mill pond. I don’t seem to recall any explanation.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:35 am
by Visitor Q
Wolf wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:47 am
My thought was that there was a strong chance that players would begin to wonder why there was a mill being built in the middle of an out of the way swamp. It seems a ridiculous place to put it: it doesn’t appear to be conveniently located and, since the ground is swampy won’t offer a suitable strong current or possibility of a raised mill pond. I don’t seem to recall any explanation.
SPOILERS.....







I mean in fairness part of the plot is the business venture is failing, One of the business partners isn't good at business and the dwarf foreman has an active interest in seeing the whole thing fail...

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:35 am
by Visitor Q
Wolf wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:47 am
My thought was that there was a strong chance that players would begin to wonder why there was a mill being built in the middle of an out of the way swamp. It seems a ridiculous place to put it: it doesn’t appear to be conveniently located and, since the ground is swampy won’t offer a suitable strong current or possibility of a raised mill pond. I don’t seem to recall any explanation.
Spoiler





I mean in fairness part of the plot is the business venture is failing, One of the business partners isn't good at business and the dwarf foreman has an active interest in seeing the whole thing fail. So I'd call that a feature not a bug.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:41 pm
by Totsuzenheni Yukimi
Spoiler
There's a useful spoiler tag. Use square brackets around the word 'spoiler'.
Spoiler
It's even possible to have spoilers within spoilers.

Re: Reviews and opinions of WFRP 4e adventures

Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:12 pm
by Visitor Q
Cheers