Sunday night’s Flussgeschichten (“River Stories”) game (in the WFRP setting) reached session 124.
We started back in early December 2019, and have played weekly since then, moving to online since the pandemic hit.
However, we’re now approaching the end-run of the campaign.
We’re not ending immediately, but we’ve moved from them fleeing the capital in a barge in session 1, to setting up their own trading empire.
Their power level is Quite Significant these days, and I want to wrap this up before it fizzles out (and whilst challenges remain fun and appropriate).
Unlike my previous Burning-WFRP campaign, there is no “end of the world” / “daemon invasion” impending climax.
Instead, they’re changing some major parts of the setting.
The group as eliminated von Drachfels, the immortal vampire, who Christopher Lee-like would keep coming back. Not now. This group put a permanent end to him through hard work and tough decisions.
One of their number, a Halfling, has become an apostle to the Skaven (Roden), and has had a lot of success in turning communities of them to his new philosophy.
The current end-game for that player is to make the Skaven accepted as part of the Empire at large (provided they follow their new philosophy/religion). In an intolerant empire, that’s going to be Big Stakes.
For now, our session saw the group reach the free-city of Kemperbad, and get stuck in on a whole range of new Beliefs, following their successes in Nuln.
I had… some ideas going in (vague sketches, really).
However, with that many new Beliefs, and a new place to be, I was going to be very responsive to what direction the players were going in.
So, as the characters fan out, Circle up some unexpected people, succeed/fail at some rolls, and ask some unanticipated questions, I’ve got a lot of answers to give.
Yes, the Wood Elves* are here because of a gathering of 30ish Beastmen that look set to strike at the city (for no discernible reason).
There are, maybe, 20 Skaven in the city, but you’ve not tracked down where they are as yet.
There’s also a small shack (or similar) that has already been set up as an (unrelated to the above) Skaven underground railroad, courtesy of what you’ve been driving for.
You finally get to meet the Halfling mystic, and they have a Dire Prophecy/Vision of the future of Skaven and Gifted Halflings.
The priesthood of Ranald caters for the rich merchants, rather than the poor and downtrodden.
Merging the theologies of the Empire’s Pantheon and the Skaven’s Horned Rat is an epic doctrinal / religious / philosophical undertaking. Good luck!
You can, indeed, find a Dwarven Master Craftsman. However, they are exiled from their clan (for murder), they’ve been in indentured servitude for 30 years, they’re a she (which in the patriarchal setting of these dwarves, is a problem), and that’ll be a Resources Ob 10, please.
(* quick aside: the player called back to something from about session 10 to build a rapport with the elves. Lovely history and reincorporation. Also, they saw through the Elves’ Grey Cloaks, much to the latter’s consternation and embarrassment.)
Phew! A lovely session, lots of new problems bursting forth, and a whole bunch of answers I’ve given that I’d now like to start tying together.
Pretty much all of the above was me reacting in session.
Now I’ve got to make good on it all, and integrate this into something resembling a Situation that I can work on (and adapt, as the PCs do their thing).
Monday, I wrote down the main headings (Wood Elves, Beastmen, Skaven, poor Ranaldians, etc. etc.), and then bashed in some quick notes to remind me of what I’d said / hinted at.
Then, more notes and bullet points as I go through, drawing connections (where appropriate), sketching ideas of what may complicate things, why this issue now, etc.
And then it all snaps together, as it feels like it always does.
A bit more mad scribbling, and I’ve got something that links some of the threads together, and I’ve got the space to add in some names, and bury some puns and Real World references in there (always a pleasure in WFRP!).
So, we’ve got a lovely looking penultimate(-ish) situation in Kemperbad (replete with interesting decisions), and I get to see whether my references to an 80s synth-pop duo are spotted by the players.
(being able to translate some of those references into German might be cheating a bit, but it keeps me amused!)